Director of netball Tamsin Greenway says Wasps will turn their attention to the attacking area of the team after the arrival of eight new players.
Sophia Candappa, Amy Flanagan, George Fisher, Lucy Harris, Josie Huckle, Samantha May, Hannah Reid and Francesca Williams were all unveiled as Wasps players for the 2017 season on Tuesday as the franchise prepare for life in the Vitality Superleague.
Having been confirmed as one of three new entrants to the 2017 league, Wasps have been working hard behind the scenes to put a squad in place and starting from scratch, Greenway felt is was key to hit the ground running.
And having signed eight players, the former Surrey Storm and England centre is ready to add to the attacking area of the court with four more spaces to fill.
“We are defence full now and it’s the attacking players, centre court and our attack positions,” Greenway told Sportsclubsociety.
“We are talking to a couple of players that I hope we get signed up soon.
“There are a lot of players out there but two more are pretty close and then it’s a case of waiting and seeing where we want those two final spots to be.”
Having already secured eight of the squad for the new season, Greenway was understandably delighted to have started with players and combinations she feels will only benefit Wasps and the blend of youth and experience proved to be a crucial factor.
“It was something we set out to do right from the start as we were starting from scratch,” she added.
“We are looking to build a team so we wanted to make sure it wasn’t going to be a one hit wonder. The West Midlands hasn’t had a team or a franchise for a very long time so it was important for us to source some players in year one and I have tried to go with a mix of youth and experience as well.
“George (Fisher) has got a huge future. She is only 17 and I was able to work with her with the England U21s but as a player I was so impressed with how she came on last year in her opportunities at Mavericks.
“I wanted to set that stall out for players we can build the team around going forward and George fits that bill as one of those names and faces who is performing well above her age.
“Sophia Candappa and Amy Flanagan are also still young, both are in their early 20s so there is lots of youth to go with the experience that we have named as well.
“As we were starting from scratch it was important for me to look at combinations because you can’t just bring 12 players in and expect them to gel straightaway
“Candappa and Flanagan were stand-outs last year and I was at Storm for seven years and some of those players I brought through. Some were brand new as well so the aim was not to get players from all one team, it was more about building those combinations.
“Sam May is a stand-out defender in the league and we were so happy to be able to secure her – our history goes back to playing against each other.
“She is a big signing for us, her leadership and she is obviously a quality player – one of the best defenders in our league. She brings a wealth of experience and we are pleased to have her.
“We wanted youth in there and bringing Fran Williams from the U21s, and picking up Lucy Harris from Yorkshire Jets was really big.
“Lucy was fantastic for Jets and we are looking forward to working with her.”
With Hertfordshire Mavericks, Surrey Storm and Manchester Thunder an established top three and three new franchises entering the Superleague, Greenway was keen to make an early mark in a competitive market for players.
“Severn Stars and Scottish Sirens have also got to build a team from scratch. There is going to be player movement this year and that is the beauty of this league,” she said.
“We have got in there first with announcing the squad because we had to, we had nobody else but I think there will be quite a surprise with player movement.”