Image: Wasps Netball Press Release
Image: Wasps Netball Press Release

Mel Mansfield signs one-year Wasps Netball contract extension

Wasps Netball head coach Mel Mansfield has signed a contract extension that will see her lead the club through the 2021 season. The new deal will see Mansfield remain at the helm for a third season, extending her Black and Gold stay to five years in total. Mansfield was an assistant coach as Wasps won back-to-back Vitality Netball Superleague titles.

The 2020 Vitality Netball Superleague campaign was cut short due to Covid-19 and Mansfield says her team has unfinished business after a strange year.

“It was incredibly disappointing that the season barely got started this year and I know the squad feel like there is unfinished business from that campaign,” she said.

“Next year will be season five for Wasps and I’ve been honoured to be involved in every one so far. We’re viewing this as a new phase for the club and the pandemic has afforded us time to think about the direction we are heading in.

“We have a phenomenal culture at Wasps and the players really took care of each other throughout the pandemic. Now we’re looking forward to getting back out there on court and competing for our third title.”

The West Midlands outfit have also confirmed the return of assistant coach Bianca Modeste, in addition to announcing the arrival of Colette Thomson MBE as a secondary assistant coach. Modeste, who previously lead Surrey Storm’s U-21 programme, joined Wasps in 2019 and is widely regarded as a defensive expert.

Thomson is currently head coach for Linden Netball Club, and was on the coaching bench when England won Commonwealth Games gold in 2018.

I’ve known Bianca for years and she has been a hugely popular figure since joining us

– Mel Mansfield

In a club statement, Mansfield said that she was pleased to have strengthened her coaching team. Mansfield added: “We have a brilliant coaching team on board, and I am thrilled to have Bianca and Colette alongside me.

“I’ve known Bianca for many years and she has been a hugely popular figure with the team since joining us. We’re delighted to have her back on board. She’s a defensive specialist, straight talking, a joy to be around and I love working with her.

“Colette has a fantastic netball brain and is one of the most respected coaches in the sport both regionally and nationally. She has a great eye for talent and will help us to further develop our talented youngsters at Wasps.”

Sarah Taylor, Wasps Netball franchise manager, and Stephen Vaughn, the CEO of Wasps Group, praised the returning Mansfield. In a club statement, Taylor said: “Whilst I am personally delighted to have Mel lead our coaching line up for another season, her re-appointment puts the club in a great position to challenge for the Superleague title once again.”

Vaughan added: “There is an excellent culture at Wasps Netball and the coaches perpetuate that. We have a trio of well-respected, experienced coaches and have strong foundations to build on for the upcoming season.”

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