Fun-loving Guthrie and Team Bath draw attention

SERENA GUTHRIE says Team Bath’s unblemished early-season form is a result of a rising Superleague fun-factor within the club.

Serena Guthrie was named player of the match as Team Bath claimed their seventh win from seven in the 2021 Vitality Superleague Picture: BEN LUMLEY PHOTOGRAPHY
Serena Guthrie was named player of the match as Team Bath claimed their seventh win from seven in the 2021 Vitality Superleague Picture: BEN LUMLEY PHOTOGRAPHY

The England international steered the West Country side to a seventh win from seven with a player-of-the-match performance against Strathclyde Sirens in Wakefield, leaving them sitting pretty at the top of the table as the halfway mark of the 2021 campaign approaches.

Guthrie is back playing club netball for Bath for the first time since 2014, having won three Superleague titles before she departed for New Zealand in 2015 and later on to Australia.

‘We’ve had a good start and it has been a really fun season so far,’ said the former Le Rocquier student. ‘There have been a few comments around how much we look like we’re enjoying ourselves and we genuinely are.

‘We knew it was going to be tough in terms of travel [to the pandemic-friendly, neutral venue in Wakefield each week] so we’re trying to soak up every moment, enjoy every game and the whole experience of the season. We are having a lot of fun and I think that is showing in our game-plat as well.

‘We have had quite a few challenges as well – it hasn’t all been easy. Last weekend is a great example of that and of how tight this competition can be. It showed how good Sirens are, and they were sitting down in fifth.’

Guthrie’s display – in front of Sky Sports cameras as part of a landmark season-long deal for the Vitality Superleague – even attracted the attention of television presenter Vernon Kay, who shared his thoughts with his 1.1million followers on Twitter.

It brought a laugh from Guthrie, although she says the indirect publicity could be a sign of a brighter future. The 31-year-old is also hopeful that a joint television deal between the BBC, Sky Sports and Women’s Superleague football – worth a reported £7million a year – can unlock new avenues for her sport.

‘The cool thing is we’re getting a little bit more interest and momentum is starting to pick up even more,’ she explained. ‘It’s definitely a positive thing and it is quite funny looking at the amount of social media attention that came off that tweet.

‘The women’s football TV deal is pretty incredible and hopefully netball can follow in their footsteps. They’re certainly paving the way in terms of proving it can be done and I think as we grow towards the Commonwealth Games [Birmingham 2022] it will be great to see what doors might open up.

‘I’ve no doubt that we will build even more over the next 12 months.’

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