Khalifa McCollin, Celtic Dragons’ shooting star from Trinidad and Tobago, plays against her former team Saracens Mavericks in Cardiff this evening (Monday, 7pm).
McCollin returned to Dragons this season and produced a 100 per cent shooting average during their 67-40 win against London Pulse at the Copper Box Arena.
Captain Nia Jones and her team were bitterly disappointed to lose 57-40 at Severn Stars in Gloucester, but go into Monday’s opening home fixture of the season with massive determination.
McCollin is delighted to be back in South Wales and says: “I’m loving it.
“It’s quite different to what it was before with so many new players from different countries and backgrounds. It’s exciting.
“We can’t wait to play our first match of this season in front of the Green Army fans. There will be a lot of support and a great atmosphere.”
Dragons have brought in players from Jamaica, Fiji, Australia plus England and coach Tania Hoffman has ensured they have blended with the outstanding Welsh talent in their squad.
The Welsh team had 11 interceptions at Severn Stars, but failed to make the most of their chances and McCollin says: “We weren’t connected at all through game.
“Stars were aggressive and we shied away from that. We must and will make adjustments against Mavericks.
“We have studied match footage and the girls weren’t happy with our team performance. Prior to that we had an outstanding performance against London. We know what we are capable of.
“We’ll park that game against Stars, move forward and hit the ground running against Mavericks.”
McCollin is focused on producing her best form against Mavericks, saying: “I don’t get too nervous before matches. I know what Mavericks are capable of and definitely know what Dragons are capable of.
“Our job is to get out there and do what we have to do.
“We will be pushing each other, demanding from each other.
“Mavericks will be sharp, quick and bring flair, particularly with Sasha Corbin and Kadeen Corbin. They will be quite physical and their game is similar to what we have to offer.
“It’s going to be a good, competitive match.”
Saracens Mavericks are third in the Superleague table after their 64-51 home win against Loughborough Lightning.
George Fisher and Kadeen Corbin combining well in the circle, while the experience of Sasha Corbin shone through as she led the charge on turnover and combined well with sister Kadeen.
Head coach Kat Ratnapala said: “There is no better feeling than playing in front of a sold out home crowd and the support was electric.”
This evening Mavericks will play in front of a sell-out Green Army attendance at the Sport Wales National Centre, Sophia Gardens and they will be backing Celtic Dragons all the way.
The Team Bath Netball Superleague match against Severn Stars (Friday) postponed due to bad weather.
Vitality Netball Superleague fourth round results/fixtures:
Team Bath v Severn Stars, postponed; Surrey Storm 47, Wasps 70; Loughborough Lightning 60, Strathclyde Sirens 49.
To be played Monday, February 4: Celtic Dragons v Saracens Mavericks (7pm); Manchester Thunder v London Pulse (live on Sky Sports television).
Dragons results/fixtures 2019 – home games played at the Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff.
Celtic Dragons 41, Team Bath 58
Saturday 12 London Pulse 40, Celtic Dragons 67
Friday 25 Severn Stars 57, Celtic Dragons 40
Monday 4 v Saracens Mavericks (home, 7pm)
Friday 8 v Strathclyde Sirens (away, 7.30pm)
Monday 18 v Wasps (home, 7pm)
Monday 25 v Manchester Thunder (home, 7pm)
Saturday 2 v Surrey Storm (away, 6pm)
Saturday 9 v Loughborough Lightning (home, 4pm)
Saturday 16 v Team Bath (away, 5pm)
Monday 25 v London Pulse (home, 7pm)
Saturday 30 v Severn Stars (home, 4pm)
Saturday 6 v Manchester Storm (away, 5pm)
Saturday 3 v Strathclyde Sirens (home, 4pm)
Saturday 20 v Saracens Mavericks (away, midday)
Sunday 21 v Wasps (away, midday)
Saturday 27 v Surrey Storm (home 4pm)
Saturday 4 Loughborough Lightning v Celtic Dragons (6pm)
For home match ticket information click on the Dragons name Celtic Dragons
VITALITY SUPERLEAGUE 2019