The Celtic Flames have returned home to Wales after a successful trip to New Zealand for the first ever global Super Club netball competition. Representing the northern hemisphere, the Celtic Flames finished in fifth place ahead of all other international invited teams outside Australia and New Zealand.
The Celtic Flames were formed just weeks prior to the brand new global Super Club competition and claimed victory over the teams from Fiji, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago. Comprised of mostly Wales and Celtic Dragons stars, the Welsh based Celtic Flames beat the Gauteng Jaguars – the South African netball premier league 2017 champions. The Flames also dominated their match against Fiji’s Marama Vou team, which consists of several Fijian international players, who are currently 7th to Wales’ 8th in the international netball rankings.
Each Super Club team also enjoyed an allocated Community Day during the competition. The Celtic Flames athletes met young netball fans from the Nelson community whilst visiting one of the area’s most scenic spots at Abel Tasman National Park.
The Wales international players will benefit hugely from the exposure to international competition as they prepare for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, April 2018. Welsh Netball CEO Sarah Jones said the 5th placing is a great benchmark for the Wales players involved, and will assist with preparations for their Gold Coast 2018 campaign.
“This was a fantastic opportunity and the squad embraced every moment of it. They not only learned and improved but also came home with three wins out of five.
“This was a brave move to put these players in to a global environment, with daily Sky broadcasting, competing with some of the world’s best. This was about learning and growing and everyone present has done that over the last ten days.
“Huge congratulations to Head Coach Trish Wilcox and the team for a successful week, and big thanks and congratulations to Nelson and Netball New Zealand for a successful inaugural Super Club.
“We’d also like to thank Sport Wales for their support, and to all the players’ sponsors who were behind our athletes every step of the way,” said Sarah Jones.
Celtic Flames final scores:
Te Wananga o Raukawa Pulse v Celtic Flames: 65-41
Celtic Flames v Marama Vou: 68-41
SKYCITY Mystics v Celtic Flames: 66-43
Celtic Flames v Gauteng Jaguars: 57-45
Celtic Flames v University of Trinidad & Tobago: 62-47
Celtic Flames players:
Suzy Drane (supported by MSG Tours), Bethan Dyke (supported by Torfaen Leisure Trust), Clare Jones (supported by TPHS Limited), Kyra Jones (supported by Glamorgan Telecom), Nia Jones (supported by Chester Chain), Chelsea Lewis (supported by Islwyn Pugh Construction/GW Flooring Contract Services), Kelly Morgan (supported by Andy Lamb Media), Lois Rideout (supported by Balance Fitness), Eleanor Roberts (supported by Fostering Matters), and Georgia Rowe (supported by Miller Medical Supplies). Anna Thompson and Temalisi Fakahokotau also joined the Flames line-up directly from their ANZ season with the Silvermoon Tactix.
Celtic Flames Management:
Trish Wilcox (supported by Pro Steel Engineering), Mel Tuckwell (supported by USW), Donna Crossman (supported by Falconry Services Ltd.).
The following players also received the honour of Most Valued Player, who each received a specially designed ring by Jens Hansen Jewellery: