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Rachel Shaw Blog (25th Jan 2019)

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Team Bath Netball legend (we can call her that ok) Rachel Shaw joins the Blog section of The Netball Show

Well what a start to the season we have had! Great to get two back to back wins and being in a position where we had to explore our depth in the team, with losing two key players Serena Guthrie and Eboni Usoro-Borwn going into round 2.

We dug deep, the week leading up to the Sirens game, making sure we hadn’t left any stone un-turned in our preparation to perform against what some would say our bogey team, a team we have always fell short to on away soil. But we weren’t there to do the same and we were adamant we were coming back with smiles on our faces. The Game was no means easy, or a stroll in the park at all, but we were strong out the blocks with early turnovers and an early lead leading into the second quarter. The game continued as you would expect highly contested and with runs of goals for both sides but Bath keeping their nerve with a strong lead going into half time! The best thing about this moment and this game was how as a team, we stuck together and really supported one another off and on the court. This was a game that naturally had all eyes on us to see if Bath could do the job without their England player’s. But a game internally we always knew we could perform too- with depth we have this year throughout our team of 15! All 15 contributing to make the 12 and the 7 stepping out there best prepared to do the job. We definitely had a tense moment in the final quarter letting sirens back to within two but like I said it was an ultimate team effort and previous years that would have swung the other way but we stayed in control and we knew our game plan and raised to the occasion. There may have been a few little convos in players heads saying “this is not happening again” it definitely went through my head ha-ha! But the squad cohesion and positive vibes were amazing and that ultimately was what got the win along with the 7 players performing out on court.

During the last two weeks we have had lots to focus on and have been fortunate with the time to get really positional specific with what our training aims have been. Which has also been evident in our practise game performances against Knights Men’ Team and our Team Bath U21’s. In between all of the Netball and hard working we also have a team of players that think they’re highly funny, myself included ha-ha. Our team this year has been a blast so far and the vibes in camp are just brilliant, we don’t start any session without a bit of music, my fav being throwbacks, love my old school music! (A team that dances, sings and laughs together is a team that’s hard to beat ha-ha.) But all jokes a side we have a very exciting squad this year and everyone is competing highly which I can only imagine gives the coaches lots of head aches but they would always say there positive headaches and that’s ultimately what you would want from a squad! You’re as strong as your weakest link, and how fortunate are we to have all strong links.

This week has been a strong training week for us- to be expected with the season commencing again next week. The return of our England players has definitely been a positive and we are so happy to have them back amongst the team again. The team are back as ONE again! It’s always frustration to have the hype of the season starting and then losing a few players so early on for International commitments. The break that follows is always hard when you’re so ready to go! But is been a positive break with the match opportunities we have still had and the quality court time we have had as a group to keep firing and sharpening things up that we have picked up on in the first two rounds.
So we say thanks for the break but we are more then ready to get back out on the court and in front of our amazing home fans in the blue and gold arena against Surrey Storm on the Monday followed by Severn Stars on the Friday, what a way to kick start the season again!

I am buzzing and I’m definitely on the how many sleeps count down till…. GAME DAYYYYYYY! The Team would back me in saying I’m probably the most excitable when it comes to game day even game day eve is an exciting moment haha. Our group chat normally goes crazy with me and Jess Thirlby getting all game day ready, it use to be a competition to who could message first in the morning but now we just bounce of each other!

So that’s a wrap from me and hope to see our blue and gold army at out next TWO home games back to back! And watch our journey unravel, its going to be a good one people!

Rachel x

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