Wasps Netball are targeting a British Fast5 All Stars title this weekend to add to their two Superleague triumphs. Mel Mansfield’s squad will travel to the Copper Box Arena at London’s Olympic Park to compete for the Fast5 trophy and £25,000 prize on Saturday, October 13.
The tournament will be screened live on Sky Sports Mix from 1pm – with Wasps taking on benecosMavericks in the first round of fixtures.
The fast-paced format is comprised of a double elimination group-stage, with four of the eight teams advancing to the semi-finals.
Each match will last 12 minutes and, unlike Superleague matches, shooters can earn their team one, three or five points when scoring from certain areas of the final third.
The games will also feature a two minute Golden Buzzer Power Play which gives teams the chance to double points scored.
Standing between Wasps and the title will be Loughborough Lightning, Manchester Thunder, Team Bath, benecosMavericks, Severn Stars, Surrey Storm and Strathclyde Sirens.
The black-and-golds secured a season sweep against Mavericks when they met in the Superleague this year, but star defender Sam May says Fast5 netball is a completely different proposition.
“With only five players in a team, the nature of the game is fast and furious. We have to know the rules inside and out, when we can use our Power Play and how to react when the opposition has their Power Play,” said May.
“Training has been going really well, we’re gelling well as a team. We’ve been working hard with our shooters on getting those long-range shots in, and getting the all-important maximum points.
“There is a lot of strategy work involved in preparing for this competition. The way we have to prepare for this is different to getting ready for a regular format game.
“The goal is always to win and we’ll be trying to do that again on Saturday.” Wasps were eliminated at the semi-final stage in the 2017 tournament, which was hosted at the O2 Arena - knocked out by eventual champions Loughborough Lightning.
The tournament will form part of Wasps’ pre-season preparations and marks Mel Mansfield’s first tournament as Head Coach.
May added: “It’s been really good working with Mel so far. It has been a natural progression for us and her. “We’ve got to take each game as it comes and if we get on a roll, then fantastic. We have got to work hard and then see what we can achieve.
“I enjoy this form of the game and to play at a venue like the Copper Box Arena is always amazing. Hopefully there will be a big crowd and I know we’ll see plenty of black-and-gold flags in the stands too.”