28 November 2021

Netball Superleague final: Ten questions for Sophia (Surrey Storm) and Sara (Manchester Thunder)

May 4, 2016

This weekend, London’s iconic Copper Box sees the grand finale of the Netball Superleague between Surrey Storm and Manchester Thunder. We asked Sophia Candappa – Surrey Storm (left) and Sara Bayman – Manchester Thunder (right) the same ten questions. Find out who they fear most and who’s the joker in the team…

Who do you fear most in your opponents team?
Sophia Candappa: Helen Housby if she is about to shoot the winning goal!
Sara Bayman:
I don’t think we fear anyone, but Storm are a true team, everyone takes responsibility for a role and that makes it difficult to shut down. You have to beware of all 7 players.

Which was your toughest match of the season?
Sophia Candappa: Semi-final v Hertfordshire Mavericks, it was goal for goal until the last 2 minutes!
Sara Bayman: Storm at home… we lost!

Do you have any special team rituals?
Sophia Candappa: Let’s just say we like a boogie!
Sara Bayman:
Not really, the changing room is always fun and full of jokes!

How special is it to play in the Copper Box?
Sophia Candappa: Very – The Copper Box is our 2nd home so we hope to see lots of Storm fans. It is also very special to play at the Olympic Park in front of hundreds of supporters.
Sara Bayman:
Amazing! It is a great venue and brings back memories of London 2012. The partnership with Sky also means that it is always sold out and it is exciting everyone can watch the game on Sky too!

How will you prepare for the big match this week?
Sophia Candappa: Training as normal, but we will be putting into practice our game plan against Thunder.
Sara Bayman:
Same as always: training, video analysis, lots of rest!

Do you watch your opponents matches back for analysis?
Sophia Candappa: Yes – video analysis is a crucial part of our training.
Sara Bayman:
Yes. Teams are always improving so it is important we know what to expect.

In your team who would you give player of the season to?
Sophia Candappa: Rachel Dunn or Pam Cookey – they take the big hits every game and score the goals.
Sara Bayman:
That is really difficult… I would have to say Jodie Gibson.

In your team, who is the joker?
Sophia Candappa: Rachel Dunn makes me laugh a lot!
Sara Bayman:
Laura Malcolm, she’s always winding people up and cracking jokes.

How much support do you get from your home city?
Sophia Candappa: Our home crowd is incredible, the support they have shown is amazing and they have believed in us the whole season through the ups and downs.
Sara Bayman:
A huge amount. The fans have been incredible this season and lots of them are travelling down to The Copper Box for the final. Amazing commitment!

Do you get lots of fan mail?
Sophia Candappa:  I get some very cute letters from young supporters. Storm have also been working with women from a local prison and they gave us a good luck card for the Semi Finals.
Sara Bayman:
Not lots, but occasionally. It is always nice to hear about how youngsters have been inspired.

Sky Sports’ biggest ever season of netball concludes with live coverage of the Vitality Netball Superleague Final on Saturday 7th May, Sky Sports 5, 4:30pm

Danielle Sellwood, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

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