After helping two teams reach finals in her native Australia this year, new recruit Kim Commane is determined to go one step further when she lines up for Team Bath Netball in the 2019 Vitality Superleague.
The 30-year-old specialist shooter brings bags of experience to the Sitec-sponsored Blue & Gold having won the 2009 World Youth Championships with Australia U21 and played professionally down under, first with New South Wales Swifts in the ANZ Championship and then with Melbourne Vixens in Suncorp Super Netball.
It was her last appearance with the Vixens in September that fully demonstrated the quality she brings to attack. An injury to shooter Mwai Kumwenda meant Commane was drafted in to face a Sunshine Coast Lightning team boasting the formidable talents of former Team Bath duo Geva Mentor and Karla Pretorius in defence.
Commane went on to produce an outstanding individual display, scoring 31 of her 33 attempts, and she is looking forward to bringing that clinical edge to the Blue & Gold in the new season.
“That opportunity with Vixens opened doors for me, for which I am grateful,” said Commane. “When Team Bath approached me about coming here, I jumped at the chance.
“My husband and I spoke about coming to England a couple of years ago but it proved too difficult to get sorted at the time, so I am very happy to finally be here.
“I’ve had a really good year on the court. As well as playing for Vixens I was named as Most Valuable Player in the Victorian Netball League with Hawks Netball and I also reached the Goulburn Valley League finals with Shepparton. Now I’ve had the opportunity to come to Team Bath – hopefully I can not only make the finals here but take the title as well.
“In terms of style, I would say I’m a dynamic shooter. I have good ball speed and I have plenty of experience, so hopefully being an older head in that shooting circle might bring some composure.
“The girls have helped me settle in really quickly and I can’t wait to get out in front of the fans at the Team Bath tri-tournament next month, everyone tells me what a great crowd we have here.”
Commane enjoyed her first run-out in Blue & Gold at a pre-season tournament staged by champions Wasps. Team Bath lost 36-28 to the hosts in the deciding match but were impressive 44-29 victors over new franchise London Pulse in their other game of the afternoon.
“It was really good to get out there with the girls and start building those connections on court,” Commane added.
Reflecting on the Wasps tournament, Team Bath Netball Head Coach Jess Thirlby said: “Improvement week on week is vital in the season and it was pleasing to see partnerships develop well over the course of the two matches.
“Combinations were varied but purposeful and it was great to integrate Kim into the team along with Chartie Curtis, who had missed the previous week’s tournament at Loughborough due to illness. It was encouraging to see the capacity of this 2019 team.”
Four members of the Blue & Gold squad were on international duty for England on Tuesday, with Serena Guthrie captaining the Roses in their first match on home soil since being crowned as Commonwealth champions in April.
Eboni Usoro-Brown (nee Beckford-Chambers) was also in an England team that overcame a last-quarter rally from Uganda to win 50-46 in Liverpool.
Summer Artman and MJ Church ambassador Sophie Drakeford-Lewis had earlier represented the England A side in an impressive 63-33 victory over Scotland.
All four will be back in Blue & Gold for the Team Bath tri-tournament, taking place at the University of Bath Sports Training Village on Saturday, December 15. Surrey Storm and benecosMavericks are also taking part and fans will be able to enjoy three matches during one action-packed afternoon.
The 2019 Vitality Superleague season then gets under way in January. Season and match tickets are also on sale now for Team Bath’s home fixtures – visit netball.teambath.com to find out more.
Team Bath Netball are sponsored by Sitec and supported by partners Mogers Drewett, Soldi and Netball South West. Centurion Chartered Financial Planners are supporting the team’s performance analysis and people development capabilities, Viper 10 are their Sportswear Supplier and Skins provide the team with compression wear.
Courtesy Team Bath Press Office at Matchtight