Wasps Netball have completed their squad for the upcoming season with the recruitment of up-and-coming shooter Chloe Essam.
The 18-year-old joins from Loughborough Lightning and will be the youngest member of Mel Mansfield’s squad.
The teenage sensation from Kettering has played for England at under-19 level and was first called up to Lightning’s Superleague squad at the age of 16.
She has started studying at the University of Hertfordshire this month, where she will play as part of their BUCS netball team – who are also coached by Wasps head coach Mansfield.
Essam, who says England international star Jo Harten is one of her netball idols, can play at Goal Attack or Goal Shooter.
She was a member of the game-day squad for Lightning in both of the Grand Final defeats to Wasps in the last two seasons.
Essam had been planning to focus on her time at university during the 2019 Vitality Netball Superleague season but said that the opportunity at Wasps was too good to miss.
“I wasn’t really thinking about playing in the Superleague this year, I thought about settling in at university and focusing on that, but when the opportunity to join Wasps arose it was one I couldn’t turn down,” she said.
“Mel and I will be seeing a lot of each other, with the BUCS team at Hertfordshire too. I’m hoping to learn a lot from her.
“It will be a privilege to be able to train and learn from the players at Wasps. I’ll learn a lot from everyone, they are so experienced.
“I just want to improve as player, particularly my knowledge of how to play the game. Being with new coaches you are going to learn different things, I’m really excited to see what’s in store for the team next season.”
Mel Mansfield added: “I’m really pleased to have secured Chloe’s services for next season. We were looking for a young Goal Attack to fill our final squad place and she fits the bill perfectly.
“Chloe is already pretty experienced having been in the England Academy programme and in Superleague squads before.
“She is at my university this year so she will be seeing rather a lot of me, and spending more time with her Wasps teammates there too, which makes things easier in terms of supporting her development.
“Chloe is a dynamic, fast player with an accurate shot and huge amounts of potential. She is a very fit athlete and will be pushing the other players as she competes for court time.”