Surrey Storm has announced their first ever signings with England defenders Sonia Mkoloma and Geva Mentor joining the new look Co-operative Netball Superleague Franchise.
Mentor (pictured far right) and Mkoloma (pictured right) will form a formidable backbone to Storm’s defence this season. Formerly known as Brunel Hurricanes, the new look London and South East side Surrey Storm will represent the London & South East region.
Mentor and Mkoloma have accumulated over 130 caps for England, much of those playing side by side internationally and the duo are considered two of the finest defenders in the world.
Both are hot property worldwide and have not only concluded another season playing in the trans-Tasman ANZ Championships (Mentor, Adelaide Thunderbirds and Mkoloma, Mercury Energy Tactix) they recently starred in the World Select Team who defeated Australia and New Zealand.
England Co-Captain Mkoloma has renewed her commitment to the London and South East Franchise with extra enthusiasm and cannot wait to get on court for Surrey Storm; “It’s really exciting to be part of the new look franchise. I am excited by their ambition, they’ll be plenty of fresh competition and I am sure there will be exciting times ahead”.
Mentor joins Surrey Storm from last year’s Co-operative Netball Superleague champions Team Bath and at just 25 years old has already a distinguished international career. Since making her full senior England debut aged just 15 in 2000, Geva has established herself as one of the greatest goal keepers in the world.
Mentor stated; “I have a new found excitement for the start of the 2009/10 Co-operative Superleague this year as I embark on new surroundings in a new team.
“After 10 years with Team Bath I feel it’s time to move on to new horizons and all those challenges that it may bring.
“I am also really looking forward to training and playing alongside Sonia week in week out leading in to a big year for us as we continue to prepare for next year’s Commonwealth Games”.
Mentor and Mkoloma Moments
Lives: Notting Hill, London
- Sonia is the current senior England Co-Captain.
- She won bronze in the 1999 World Championships under the reign of former England coach Mary Beardwood who also coached Mkoloma in her teens for Middlesex County, the pair will be reunited again this season for Storm.
- Sonia has competed for England in three World Championships and also has a bronze Commonwealth Games medal.
- In 2008 she was awarded the coveted title of Most Valuable Player (which she shared with Jamaica’s Romelda Aiken) in the inaugural ANZ Championships after competing for Kiwi side Central Pulse.
- She has played for the London and South East Superleague side since Superleague Netball began four years ago and has recently finished playing for Mercury Energy Tactix in Christchurch, New Zealand in the ANZ.
- Sonia was part of the World Select team who defeated Australia and New Zealand in the recent New World International Test Series.
Lives: Bournemouth, Dorset
- Geva still remains the youngest ever player to have competed in the England Senior Team; she was selected for the full England Squad at just 15 years old in 2000 and has since developed in to a world-class netballer and regular in the England starting line up.
- Her rise to netballing fame happened quickly and just 2 years after her debut she collected Commonwealth Bronze in Manchester.
- She has competed in two World Championships and in 2005 she also won Silver at the World Youth Champs.
- In 2008 Geva finished 3rd in the ANZ Championships with the Adelaide Thunderbirds and this season reached the grand final with her Australian side but were defeated by Melbourne Vixens.
- Geva was recently selected for the World 7 side alongside Sonia, which beat both Australia and New Zealand.
- She was also named player of the match in 2nd test against the Silver Ferns and again when the World 7 played Australia, a game in which she also captained the world side.
- Geva has two English Superleague titles to her name for Team Bath.
Louise Hudson, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine