Umpires appointed to 2020 Vitality Netball Superleague

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05: Action during the match between Severn Stars and London Pulse during the Vitality Netball Superleague Super 10 at Arena Birmingham on January 5, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for England Netball)

England Netball is delighted to confirm the final group of umpires who will officiate in the 2020 Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL)*.

The final squad was selected following the High Performance Umpiring restructure where match assessment data from England Netball leagues, competitions and international matches was used to ensure a transparent appointment process.

Returning to the squad for her 11th season, Vitality Netball World Cup final umpire Kate Stephenson said: “I am excited to continue to officiate in the VNSL in the 2020 season.

“This year has the potential to be the biggest season we have had, riding on the wave of the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup in Liverpool.

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“We are seeing new umpires coming into the league and I am looking forward to working with them.”

Stuart McErlain Naylor from the East Midlands said: “I’m delighted to be selected again and extremely grateful for the opportunity to challenge myself and do what I love at this level.

“The summer so far has consisted of a lot of hard work both on and off court, targeting specific objectives from the end of last season.

“The umpiring, video analysis, and fitness training, etc. will continue to be ramped up in preparation for the new season.

“I can’t wait to hit the ground running in 2020.”

Following a season dogged by injury, Sarah Drake returns to the squad in positive spirits and commented: “Disappointed just didn’t cut it when I realised my injury would keep me out of my very first Vitality Netball Superleague season.

“Whilst I couldn’t umpire practically, I made the decision to attend as many games as I could to keep my understanding at the right level.

“I also watched every other game on our video sharing platform and continued to work with my buddy as if I was still umpiring.

“This has meant that I have returned to court this season with little disruption to my umpiring. Bring it on!”

This year sees the inclusion of three new umpires with Farrah Jaura, Louise Cole and Megan Samuel added to the pool.

Megan Samuel commented: “I could never have imagined being announced as part of the 2020 VNSL umpires squad.

“I have so many people to thank who have made this possible including such a supportive mentor.

“I am looking forward to the challenge of a lifetime and it shows that the hours of work on and off the court really does pay off and is recognised.”

Gary Burgess, England Netball’s Head of Officiating, said: “I am delighted to see so many young umpires demonstrating what is needed to umpire at this level.

“Pair this with the experience we have in the pool and the coaching on offer from the VNSL Assessors and we have the perfect environment for our umpires to flourish.

“As netball continues to go from strength to strength in the UK, our umpires need to develop at the same fast pace and I am looking forward to watching how it all pans out this season.”

All umpires selected will now take part in a rigorous pre-season schedule to ensure they are ready for what the 2020 VNSL season will bring.

Alison Harrison IUA Wales
Chris Molloy WM
Chris Obin S
Farrah Jaura NW
Ian Fuller IUA WM
James Thomas ITID SW
Jenny Fissenden L&SE
Julie Wilks S
Kate Mann ITID EM
Kate Stephenson IUA EM
Louise Travis IUA E
Louise Cole SW
Lucy Turner (nee Mitchell) E
Megan Samuel S
Natalie Gregan NW
Rachael Radford ITID Y
Rhian Edwards Wales
Sarah Drake Y
Stuart McErlain Naylor EM

IUA = International Umpire Award

ITID = International Talent Identified Umpire

*All appointments are made pending submission of the required fitness scores (9.1 Multi-stage Fitness Test or 15.1 Yoyo Intermittent Recovery Test) and commitment to the required number of fixtures.

Make sure you’re following @NetballSL on Twitter and sign up for the VNSL Newsletter to stay up to date with news, tickets and transfers!

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