There is just one sleep to go till the Wasps Netball U21 and U19 season openers. It has been over a year since Wasps Netball’s Academy players have been able to play a competitive fixture.
Wasps Netball Academy’s first fixtures are on April 24th against local rivals Severn Stars at the Worcester Arena.
There will be a family battle that day, as Wasps U19s have Rudee Robinson in the squad, who will go up against her twin sister, who plays for Stars.
Wasps U19s & U21s also have sharpshooter Poppy Baker in the mix, recently selected into the England Netball Roses Academy for the 2021 programme.
Wasps Netball Academy Manager Lesley Blair has been impressed by Poppy: “She has worked hard on her court craft and this is beginning to show – she is definitely one to watch for the future.”
Wasps have had further success at national level with Wasps VNSL Training Partner Megan Thorne and Ellie Harding also selected for the 2021 Roses Academy. With the added depth of Ally Housley and Ruth Hughes also from the senior Superleague squad Blair added: “We are excited about the experience these players bring into the Wasps Academy programme and look forward to seeing their impact on court.”
Another player to watch will be U21 Captain Jessie Ducker in the Wasps attacking end. Blair is looking forward to seeing her in action once again: “Her creativity and work ethic, will be key factors in our team performances.”
Blair can’t wait to get going again: “There is a real sense of excitement amongst the squads to get playing. The girls have returned to training with an openness and proved how resilient they have become during this time.
“Getting to this point has not been without its challenges, with stop-start training, limited access to the gym and isolations, but we are more than excited and ready to be getting back to what we all enjoy doing.
“Training has been measured to help limit injuries, but it hasn’t been short of determination and the willingness to work hard.
“We are ready to put in some great performances, but I have emphasised to the squads to go out and have fun. It has not been a normal pre-season and the build-up has been challenging. So, this makes us even more determined to challenge for the top honours again this season.
“We have a mixture of players this season across both age groups in terms of experience and those new to the environment. We are confident that this mix of athletes, will allow us to play with flair and creativity.
“My aim for this season is to ensure we get wins on the board in order to make playoffs, whilst appreciating the opportunity to participate at an elite level, back on court alongside Wasps Netball Superleague. We also aim to give further opportunities to our Academy athletes.”