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Beth Cobden laughing

Loughborough Lightning Netball gunning for Superleague success

Vitality Netball Superleague table toppers. Fast 5s champions. Grand Final runners-up. 2017 was quite the year for Loughborough Lightning Netball, but now they’re ready to put all of that behind them and go in pursuit of even more glory.

With the 2018 season just days away, the squad have been working hard behind closed doors, all with the aim of hitting the ground running in their opening game on Saturday. Their 2018 goal is quite simple though, as England international Beth Cobden states.

“Definitely, the goal is to win it.”

“We had a great season in 2017 but it’s obviously a shame that we fell at the final hurdle, losing in the final. There’s a lot we can learn from it and we’ve got experience now if we get there this year.”

“Everyone has been training really well and we’ve had some good pre-season games – it’s also exciting as we’ve got some new faces in the team as well as some players with more experience, so we’re just excited to keep building.”

With new faces including Jamaican international goalkeeper Shamera Sterling, who will add experience to the Lightning defensive circle, Lightning look set for another stellar season.

What will be key in 2018 though is the form of star shooter Peace Proscovia, who was crowned Player of the Year and Player’s Player of the Year at the ‘Goalden Goals’ award ceremony in September.

The Ugandan captain, who will head down under for the Commonwealth Games in the Superleague’s mid-season break in April, will be looking to maintain her sensational shooting figures. As she says though, 2018 is a new year:

“I’m excited for the start of the season – a new challenge, a new season and just everything being new.

“There were lots of lessons learnt in that final last year and we believe we’ve worked on most of the areas that needed to be worked on. All I can say is that we learnt lessons and we are prepared for it this season.”

The big change for 2018 however is in the form of Head Coach Anna Carter, who comes in to replace the outgoing Karen Atkinson, and she is well aware of the large shoes she has to fill.

“I’m delighted to have been appointed Head Coach of this fantastic franchise and hope to carry on the fantastic work Karen Atkinson has done over the past few years. I’m very lucky to have such a talented squad to work with, which in some ways makes the job easy, but in other ways hard, as success is the only option.”

Of the change, Cobden commented:

“It’s great to have Anna on board, but equally it’s a shame that we’ve lost Karen; it’ll be good to get Anna’s experience and her spin on things though. Given things went so well last year we want things to remain quite similar, as we’ve created a good environment and everything’s been working, but it’ll be good to add her coaching knowledge. I know she’s got a lot of grit and fight in her so that real drive to win will help.”

Lightning’s first game of the season is at home to Scottish side UWS Sirens on Saturday 10th February, 6pm centre pass. And the fantastic local support is something Cobden was also keen to highlight.

“It’s great to play in front of big audiences and I know a few of our games are at the Leicester Arena this year, which is great and should help to grow the sport; we just love having a full house coming to support us.”

For tickets to see Lightning in action head to www.loughboroughlightning.com

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 18/25

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Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world to study sports-related subjects in the 2017 QS World University Rankings and top in the country for its student experience in the 2016 THE Student Experience Survey.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 6th in the Guardian University League Table 2018, 7th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 and 10th in The UK Complete University Guide 2018. It was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.

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