Sara Bayman among a host of new recruits for Vitality Superleague team UWS SIrens
New coach sets sights on Vitality Superleague title after Scottish franchise unveil all-star squad for 2018
Last Updated: 03/11/17 3:48pm
UWS Sirens have unveiled Sara Bayman, Vanessa Walker and Leah Kennedy among their squad for 2018 with Tanya Dearns arriving as head coach
After a memorable debut Vitality Superleague season, which included sell-out home games at Glasgow's Emirates Arena, Scotland's representatives will again pose a threat when the 2018 season gets underway in February.
Having finished sixth in their first season, the UWS Sirens are aiming to make the top four and the end of season play-offs and will do so under New Zealander Dearns, who takes over as head coach from Gail Parata.
Deans said: "It is an honour and a privilege to take on the role of leading the UWS Sirens franchise, building on some of the ground-breaking successes of their debut 2017 season and developing the team and athletes to truly realise their on-court potential.
"I am excited by the challenge that this opportunity provides. I want to create a formidable force that can go out to compete for the Superleague title from the outset.
"My intention going into the second season is to bring together a squad of some of the most skilled, focused and talented athletes in the sport who are capable of achieving incredible things collectively and I think we have achieved that."
Alongside Dearns are a host of new faces, and some familiar ones as Scotland internationals Lynsey Gallagher, Bethan Goodwin, Nicola McCleery and Emily Nicholl join captain Claire Brownie in returning for a second season, while Sam Murphy steps up from the development squad.
Jamaica international Nicole Aiken Pinnock is also back after an impressive debut campaign and there are six more new faces that make up an impressive squad list.
Joining captain Brownie in the mid-court is former Manchester Thunder star Bayman, who returns to the Superleague after a season in New Zealand with Central Pulse, and the former England international will add a wealth of experience to the squad.
There is more international quality in the shape of Vanessa Walker, who topped the regular season standings with Loughborough Lightning before their defeat to Wasps in the final and also won the inaugural British Fast5 Championship earlier this year
Walker's Loughborough team-mate last year and Scottish international Ella Gibbons is another new face, as is Walker's fellow Jamaica international Shantal Slater, who was on the books of Team Bath for the 2017 season.
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Completing the line up are Leah Kennedy (Team Northumbria) and Bethany Sutherland (Surrey Storm), who move north of the border to assist the Sirens' push for the top four.
"Last season was a complete whirlwind for us all, with a really short lead in time to the start of the league our collective focus was on creating and launching our team, and the impact that we achieved both on and off the court completely surpassed our expectations," Netball Scotland CEO Clare Nelson said.
"Heading into our second season we have more depth and experience in our squad, and are looking for more consistent and effective execution on court. We proved last year that we are capable of being one of the top teams in the league and I feel really confident in this new look team that our coaches have brought together.
"Off court, we will continue to work with our incredible partners, UWS, to grow and develop our game-changing brand and impact programmes. I can't wait to get this next season underway."