Student coach Rachel Shaw relishing leadership role as she signs up for 2020 Vitality Superleague season with Team Bath Netball
The England-capped wing-attack is a hugely influential figure both on and off the court for the Blue & Gold, with her dynamic attacking style and bubbly demeanour making her a favourite with team-mates and supporters alike.
“I’m really excited to go again – and hopefully get into the final this time!” said the 27-year-old. “We lost to the eventual champions, Manchester Thunder, by just three goals in this year’s semi-finals but we beat them twice by that margin during the league season, so that shows how close we are and I am confident that we’ll be even more competitive in 2020.
“I’m one of the oldest and most experienced players here now and I like having that senior role – being a leader, helping everyone out and passing on the Blue & Gold ethos.”
Shaw is also sharing that positivity, and her expert technical and tactical knowledge, with the next generation of players in her role as coach of the University of Bath student squad. She worked with Team Bath’s U21s at the NPL Tournament last month and will lead the U15s at the National School Games in Wolverhampton at the end of August.
“I’ve enjoyed combining playing and coaching over the past year, it’s worked out really well and the experience has helped me in both roles,” said Shaw. “There is a lot of talent coming through here and it’s been great to work across a range of ages and in different coaching environments.”
Team Bath Netball Superleague Head Coach Anna Stembridge said: “I am so happy that Rach will be joining us for the 2020 campaign. She epitomises what the Blue & Gold is about and continues to drive this club forward both on and off the court.
“She is a phenomenal athlete and is one of the best midcourters in the league. Her consistency and leadership last year was absolutely key for us and I am really looking forward to building upon those performances both individually and collectively.”
Shaw is the second player to commit to Team Bath for the 2020 Superleague season, joining England World Cup bronze-medallist Eboni Usoro-Brown in providing a strong base for the squad.
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Team Bath Netball is partnering with local charity Sporting Family Change in 2020 to help make a difference through sport. Centurion Chartered Financial Partners are Team Bath’s people development partner.