Two-time Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) champions Wasps Netball have announced their training partners for the upcoming season.
With five days before this signing window’s Deadline Day, the Midlands outfit announced their five training partners for the 2021 campaign.
Young talents Hannah Leighton, Ally Housley, Leah Goss, Megan Thorne and Ruth Hughes have all been selected by Head Coach Mel Mansfield.
Thorne was selected for the Roses Academy programme. Housley and Hughes, meanwhile, are part of the U21 squad.
Leighton is a local athlete who has played her formative netball in the West Midlands and progressed from Wasps’ Pathway into a training partner position with the senior squad.
She said: “I’m really excited to return to Wasps for another season. I’m looking forward to building on what I learnt last year and developing my game. I can’t wait to get back and see what we can achieve together as a team.”
Housley played for England at Netball Europe Open 2019 where the team won gold; she was also been picked for the U19 Roses tour to Australia and New Zealand 2019.
“Everyone can empathise with how eager we all are to get going with netball again, so I could not be more excited to be back with Wasps to do exactly that – let’s make up for lost time,” said Housley.
Leah Goss, a 22-year-old defender, arrives from fellow VNSL side Surrey Storm. Goss is a two-time BUCS champion and has worked with Mansfield during her time at university.
Goss said: “I am super excited to be a part of Wasps this season. I look forward to a new challenge at a new franchise and learning from some of the best players in the league. I can’t wait to get started and to be back on court.”
Thorne, meanwhile, has been with the club since the age of 14. The 17-year-old goal attack / goal shooter already has England U21 caps to her name after featuring for her country at U21 Netball Europe Open in 2019.
“I first trialled for Wasps at age 14 and have been in the pathway ever since. I have a couple of Wasps hub titles under my belt and I have played for all of the age group teams. It felt amazing when Mel asked me to take the next step, and I am excited for the challenge ahead,” said Thorne.
Finally, Hughes is another young England player to have been selected. The mid-courter also won the U21 Netball Europe Open and went on a tour of New Zealand and Australia with the U19 squad. The Birmingham University student took part in a number of senior training sessions last term.
Mel Mansfield said: “We are very pleased to offer Ruth a training partner agreement this season. Another England U21 player who has ambition for the WYC squad, Ruth was involved in many of our training sessions last season and demonstrated that she has what it takes to develop at the senior level.”