Tracey Neville reflects on netball Superleague changes
Last Updated: 22/02/17 8:53am
England head coach Tracey Neville believes the new-look netball Vitality Superleague can benefit the game across the UK.
A summer of change in the sport has seen three new franchises brought in to expand the league and, with playing rosters shrunk from 15 to 12 players, the feeling is there a better spread of players making a competitive league.
Birmingham's Genting Arena will host the Super 10 round of the league on Saturday, where all ten teams play in five back-to-back games, three of which you can see of Sky Sports Mix from 2pm.
Glasgow's Emirates Arena, Coventry's Ricoh Arena and Leicester Arena join the Copper Box as big-name venues where the Superleague will be played this year, as 2017 promises to be the sport's most high-profile to date.
But It has not all been plain sailing. The disbanding of the Yorkshire Jets after they were not awarded a licence met with widespread criticism, while several high-profile England internationals have taken the opportunity to play in Australia and New Zealand.
But the impact of the new franchises in looking to grow and expand the sport has impressed Neville, who was full of praise for Sirens' mix of talented imports and young Scottish talent.
Seven Stars and Wasps have also blended young England players alongside more experienced names, while the established Superleague franchises have continued to use their development squads to build competitive playing staff.
Former Manchester Thunder head coach Neville, who has a Commonwealth Games in 2018 and World Cup in 2019 to prepare for, feels the growth of the sport on and off the court is key to how things progress for the UK's national teams.
"I think when the bidding process set out it was about the locations of the franchises and looking towards the best commercial product and package," Neville said.
"The intention being to expand the sport and who could do that.
"Every year the question is going to be can you push your product on. The franchises that got into the league were those that could convince they could do that and show they could grow and expand.
"As someone who started myself in the Super Cup when we were sat on benches to something that we are seeing now.
"The sport has expanded massively - it's going to get bigger and it is going to get better."
You can follow all the Vitality Superleague action on Sky Sports Mix through the season and across our Sky Sports platforms. Follow us @SkyNetball