Glasgow’s franchise in The Co-Operative Netball Superleague will be called the Glasgow Wildcats. Trials are being held in Glasgow this morning as some of the strongest talent from Scotland and beyond compete for places in the squad which will take its place in the top flight of the sport next season.
The Superleague is the leading domestic competition with seven English regional sides and teams from Wales and Scotland battling it out in front of thousands of fans at the games and many more on Sky Sports.
The Glasgow Wildcats: Scotland’s Superleague Team will operate on a similar basis to the Celtic Dragons and is likely to feature many of the Scotland full international and under 21 squads. Glasgow City Council is investing almost £200,000 pounds over the next three years in the Superleague programme. The Glasgow based franchise, led by Culture and Sport Glasgow, includes the following key partners; Netball Scotland, Glasgow Netball Association, SportScotland and the University of Glasgow.
9 of the 12 players in last year’s Scottish squad for the World Championships were based in Glasgow or played for Glasgow clubs. The regular competition against elite players should also improve Scotland’s chances of qualifying for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
Councillor Archie Graham, Executive Member for Commonwealth Games Delivery for Glasgow City Council said:”This investment and the exposure the Glasgow Wildcats will get to a national television audience should help increase participation and interest as we head towards the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Watching the sport grow in Scotland and particularly in Glasgow will also provide a fantastic legacy beyond the games.”
Patricia Osborne, Chair of Netball Scotland said:” Netball Scotland is delighted to further enhance our partnership with Culture and Sport Glasgow as we embark on this exciting opportunity in the Co-operative Netball Superleague. Participation in this league will position netball to gain vital television and media coverage and will present boundless opportunites for high level competition. The cream of Scottish players will be drawn from our national team to face first rate competition from the UK’s best netball teams. Players from across Scotland will have a chance to compete at top level and the timing couldn’t be better as we bring on board our new full time National coach Denise Holland.”
Paul Clark, CEO England Netball said:” England Netball is delighted that the Glasgow Wildcats have formed part of the leading national netball competition - The Co-operative Netball Superleague. It signals an exciting time with the national competition expanding and we are looking forward to a successful season in 2008/2009. Today is a chance to whet the appetites of all netball supporters before The Co-operative Netball Superleage kicks off in October. I am looking forward to meeting the team.”