On Tuesday 27 November, Celtic Dragons became the latest Superleague franchise to enjoy a pre-season workout against Knights Mens Netball.
The team played five intense periods against the Knights and the visiting team brought a combination of physical intensity and passing finesse. Tania Hoffman was able to deploy a range of different combinations and play some established players in different positions. It proved to be a great evening’s training for both sides an marked the squad’s latest step towards the Superleague campaign in January.
Speaking at training, head coach Hoffman said: “We’ve done lots of training but it was the first time seeing the girls on court. It was pleasing to see some things we had worked on in training come to fruition but there’s lots still to work on.”
She added: “It’s always difficult playing men because they have quite a different style but it was just what we needed – the physicality of their game and the way they are able to get up quite high really challenged our girls.”
Looking ahead to the game against Manchester Thunder in Deeside on 8 December, Hoffman said: “It’s going to be a step up, they are quite structured in what they do and we’re really looking forward to our next pre-season game!
Knights Men’s Netball was established in April 2018 and is a men’s netball team who play various forms of netball, including Fast5 and Nets. Knights were founded with the aim of able to offer competition to regional/premiership and Superleague teams who are looking for competitive exhibition and practice games. Their longer term ambition is to raise the profile of men’s and mixed netball in Britain, and grow the game as a result.
Co-founder and co-captain, Chris Green was one of the Knights players who lined-up against the Dragons on the evening. He spoke of his enthusiasm for men’s netball and how the team was growing.
He said: “We set up the team in April this year with the aim to improve and expose men’s netball. We started with 19 squad members and now have a second team, Knights A with the aim to get a third team for next year.
Knights have certainly hit the ground running since their foundation earlier in the year. They have either played, or will be playing a number of the Vitality Netball Superleauge’s big names, including Wasps, Team Bath and benecosMavericks – showing the appetite for these unique practice and exhibition games.
Celtic Dragons would like to thank the Knights for travelling down to Cardiff Metropolitan University for the evening. With many players coming from London – and even as far afield as Carlisle – the squad appreciated the Knights’ efforts!