Vitality Netball Superleague 2020 signing window set to open
By Emma Thurston
Last Updated: 19/08/19 12:37pm
The Vitality Netball Superleague opens its 2020 signing window on Thursday as the competition looks to continue to raise the bar for domestic netball in England.
The opening of the window will see all 10 clubs formally commence the process of comprising their squads for the forthcoming season. There may well be some interesting announcements over the coming weeks too!
Next season's Superleague will commence in February 2020 and will see the size of match-day squads being reduced from 12 to 10 players. The overall squad size will remain at 15 individuals - 10 players plus five training partners.
Franchises are allowed to sign two overseas players but they can't play in the same third at the same time on court.
On August 14, keep an eye out for news about the Season Opener and the British Fast5 All-Stars Championship will return to the Copper Box Arena on October, 12 and will be live on Sky Sports.
The end of last season's Superleague saw London Pulse's Te Aroha Keenan announce that she will return to New Zealand and that Sam Bird will swap Severn Stars for Pulse in order to lead the league's newest franchise.
Bird, who has been with Stars since their inception, is looking forward to what's on the horizon but is aware that changes don't always happen in the blink of an eye.
"We'll be looking to keep retaining the players that we feel fit into a London Pulse culture and London Pulse style," Bird said on the Pulse YouTube channel. "Also, then try to bring some of those younger players through to Superleague and look to be more competitive and show a bit more consistency through next season."
"These things take time. The important thing is to develop the style that we want the club to play in, find the type of players that you want to retain over a long period of time and they then become the spine of your team for you to push on."
Vitality Netball Superleague Signing Window
- Window opens on August, 1 and closes on January, 8 .
- Franchises can sign a maximum of 15 players.
- Franchises can approach any player who is out of contract and can sign players from overseas.
- Franchises are allowed to sign two overseas players but they can't play in the same third at the same time on court.
Already, we have seen Stars announce Bird's replacement as Melissa Bessell (nee Hyndman) moves the other way after being Pulse's assistant coach last season.
Bessell said shifting into the head coach role was a "no-brainer" and that she's excited to get stuck in and work with a "young and exciting franchise".
"They are a very talented, exciting group of athletes and I cannot wait to work with them, especially with the blend of some new faces to the franchise for this season."
Jess Thirlby's departure from Team Bath was known for much of last season and her movement up into England's head coach role marks an exciting new chapter for the former international.
Karen Atkinson's new role is all about driving the strategic and technical direction of Strathcyle Sirens and Dan Ryan's is not yet known, though he has said he wants to remain in the UK.
From a playing point of view, Kyra Jones and Kerry Almond are two stalwarts that hung up their dresses at the end of last season whilst Kalifa McCollin will join Southern Steel in New Zealand.
After an unforgettable Netball World Cup, the Vitality Netball Superleague is getting set to look to play its part in continuing to drive netball's momentum forward and Sky Sports will be doing the same on-air, online and across social media.
We will keep you fully up to speed with every transfer and announcement as they arrive before live netball returns with the electric British Fast5 All Stars Championship at the Copper Box Arena.
Netball is back on your screens in October with the Fast5 All Stars Championship. We will cover all the twists and turns of the off-season as the Vitality Netball Superleague teams begin to shape their squads for the 2020 season which you can follow on Sky Sports.