Two of Wasps Netball’s title-winning squad have committed themselves to the quest for a third consecutive Superleague trophy under newly-appointed head coach Mel Mansfield.
Club captain Hannah Knights and vice-captain Sophia Candappa, who both featured in the starting seven for the Grand Final win over Loughborough Lightning earlier this month, have re-signed for the 2018/19 season.
Knights, who plays at Goal Keeper or Goal Defence, joined Wasps in August 2016, saw more court time than any other Wasps player last season and is a key defensive figure.
Mid-court star Candappa missed half of the 2016 season through injury but enjoyed a successful return to action last season.
Knights and Candappa are also key leadership figures. Mansfield, who succeeds Tamsin Greenway at the helm of the dual champions, was therefore delighted to clinch their signatures.
“It was key we re-signed our captain and vice-captain to create some stability following some backroom changes,” she said.
“I have a great respect for both players. Sophia is a natural leader and does a lot of valuable work away from the court within the squad.
“She is cool, calm-headed and plays with great flair. Her ability to feed the circle consistently is crucial to our attack.
“Hannah is a vastly experienced player who is getting better and better. She covers two positions for us and is excellent at both.
“I have worked with Hannah for many years now, dating back to our time together at Surrey Storm. She will be key on court for us next season and is a fantastic, well-respected leader in the group.”
Knights said the quest for a trophy hat-trick is an irresistible prospect for her, and that she is looking forward to working alongside Mansfield.
“I’m really excited to be back for a third season at Wasps and to have the chance to compete for a trio of titles,” she said.
“I think we’ve appointed a fantastic Head Coach in Mel. I’ve always enjoyed working with her and I’m looking forward to seeing how that relationship develops next season.
“My family give me great support to let me keep playing this game, especially with travelling to play for Wasps. I got married last season so this year I’ll have Knights on the back of my dress – rather than Reid – for the first time.
“It is a fantastic club to play for and it’s great to be part of the Wasps family.”