Mavs first to confirm full squad
After a fifth-place finish last season, Mavericks are aiming to continue their upward trajectory, as they look to implement an entertaining new style of play.
Eight players from last season’s squad are returning to Mavericks, with Georgia Lees returning as a member of the 12-player squad, having been named as an Additional Training Partner last season.
Amongst those re-committing to Mavericks, there is a real blend of youth an experience, with Players’ Player of the Season Razia Quashie and Coaches’ Player of the Season Jodie Gibson, forming a formidable defensive pair.
They are joined by two new recruits in Peace Akinyemi and last season’s NSL Players’ Player of the Season Vicki Oyesola.
Oysesola is a former member of the Mavericks Pathway and Head Coach Camilla Buchanan is thrilled to be welcoming both her and Akinyemi to HSV.
“I really believe that Vicki is one of the most exciting NSL signings this season. She was one of the best defenders across the league last year and no attacker wanted to come up against her! She’s coming home to London, and we believe that her style will really complement our defensive line-up.”
“Peace is another future England star. She’s a defender with so much raw talent. She’s got an incredible understanding of the game and I know she’s going to grow and learn from the really experienced players we have in the group.”
Aliyah Zaranyika also returns for another season, alongside Lisa Mather and Georgia Lees, who returns as a full member of the squad, alongside summer recruit Ellie Rattu.
Now an England Rose, Rattu is returning to Mavericks after several seasons with London Pulse, with Buchanan thrilled to welcome the Centre back to her home club.
“Ellie will give our group a real added spark. She is such a natural talent and is a really mature head in attack. She’s also got that real defensive edge you need from a Centre. It’s so good to have her back home.”
In the attacking third, Ine-Mari Venter returns for another season, after impressing for the SPAR Proteas in the Netball World Cup, whilst Kira Rothwell will look to continue her fine form from last season that saw her named as Supporters’ Player of the Season.
They are joined up top by Britney Clarke, who proved herself to be a formidable weapon in the shooting circle in 2023, alongside Emma Thacker, who has made the switch from champions Loughborough Lightning.
Buchanan believes that she has secured the services of ‘one of the best young talents in the country,’ and is confident that Thacker can excel at Mavericks.
“I know Emma is going to go on to gain many caps for England. She’s got a really unorthodox style at Goal Attack and that’s something we want to embrace. We want to unlock her magic in that attacking third.”
The new season may still seem a long way away, but there is fresh optimism within the Mavericks squad that they can achieve great things this season. Buchanan admitted that she was already itching to get back out on the training court herself.
“When you can’t wait to get out on court for the first training session, you know you’re in a good place! We can’t wait for our supporters to feel that same buzz when they come to HSV this season. We’ve got a really great balance across the board and more importantly, we’ve got a group of great people in the squad that want to give their all. It’s a really exciting time for us.”