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Severn Stars Aiming to Cut Out Errors, says Defender

Womens netball match

Severn Stars defender, Iman Thomas, says the team has been making the most of an extra week in training and will be aiming to cut out errors that have cost them as they gear up for the season restart. 

After a weekend off from fixtures before the Vitality Netball Superleague action moves to London, Severn Stars now face a double header weekend, with Strathclyde Sirens on Sunday (April 25, 2pm) and Wasps Netball on Monday (April 26, 5.15pm) at the Copper Box Arena.

“I think it’s good that we have had a bit of a break,” said Thomas. “We have had almost two weeks where we have come together with intensity and been able to focus on what we have to do in the second part of the season, which has been good. Everyone knows that we definitely want to improve on our performance from where we left off and definitely challenge more in the second half of the season.

“We know what we want to do. It’s about cutting out the errors that we make, rather than focusing on the opposition. We have definitely focused a lot more on ourselves rather than who we are against. That’s key. At the moment we’re not able to keep our own Centre Pass score level because of the errors we’re making and that makes our job even harder because we’re already giving ourselves a bigger battle.”

The team has had a few injuries in recent months and were dealt a blow recently when it lost Bethan Dyke for the rest of the season, who sustained an Anterior Cruciate Ligament rupture, though she remains with the team in a coaching capacity. Earlier this week, Stars announced that former Welsh international and Superleague player, Kyra Jones, would be stepping out of retirement to join the squad as her replacement.

Thomas added: “We have had a couple of injuries, so we have been building and strengthening our connections with different combinations. It’s about not rebuilding but coming together as a team and looking at different options in terms of players in and out and building on that.

“Not having Beth is a massive loss. She’s just an amazing player, she just adds so much to the team on and off the court. But we’re really lucky to get Kyra; she’s really experienced, she’s fitted in well already so it’s exciting to have our first game with her.”

Stars, a joint franchise between the University of Worcester and University of Gloucestershire, will be looking for better results against Sirens and Wasps, after losses earlier in the season.

“I see these games as an opportunity to build on the positive play we have done before,” said Thomas. “The Sirens games we lost by five, it was one of our closest games. It’s about learning from that first game and seeing what we can put in place for the second time we play that team and improve from there and making sure we continue to challenge and push on more than we did. We’re capable of beating any team really but we just need to work on our errors and our connections.

“Sirens have been great this season; they are quite relentless. They’re learning to grind out games and you can definitely see them starting to believe they can take any team which makes them dangerous. Wasps have a lot of players that are experienced and have been in the League for a long time, which helps a lot and makes them tough to play against because they know when to push on in games in critical moments and they’re well drilled.

“I think, playing both these teams, for us it’s about playing our own game, especially with Wasps, not getting caught up in their type of play – being able to control the game how we want to play it and not getting sucked into their game plan.”