Saracens Mavericks head coach Camilla Buchanan is looking to build a winning mentality in her first year at the helm in the Netball Super League.
Following the departure of Kat Ratnapala at the end of last season, Buchanan – a player and coach at the club since 2008 – was promoted to head coach.
The franchise has finished fifth in the last two seasons, just missing out on the playoffs, but the Mavericks’ new boss believes the team’s pre-season efforts will bear fruit.
She said: “It’s been a big build-up. We started in September so we’re ready and raring to go.
“We’ve really looked at our philosophy and the way that we want to play as a group and for me, the biggest thing about coming in was to bring clarity.
“I’m most looking forward to seeing the results of the groundwork that this group has put together and seeing our plan come to fruition.
“I’m so confident in the group that I’ve got and what we are building and that really excites me. When it comes good, it’s a really special group and I’m excited to see the best of that.”
The off-season saw plenty of change for the Hertfordshire side with 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kadeen Corbin, alongside Chloe Essam, Georgia Lees and Gabby Marshall, all leaving the club.
Despite this Buchanan, a young coach herself, is optimistic about the balance and potential of her squad and has prioritised a longer-term strategy rather than seeking immediate results.
She added: “This season is very much about a journey because there have been some changes.
“We’ve got a core group of existing players but we’ve also got new players coming on and we’re learning a new way of playing so we’ve talked about it being about the journey and building belief within the group.
“We may not get to the final destination this season but we’re a very competitive group and we want to go on that journey.”
Mavericks have an esteemed history in the competition, holding the record for the most Grand Final appearances with seven, and Buchanan believes the strength in her squad lies in their diversity.
She added: “Mavs have always been known for the unique array of personalities and styles of play that we bring.
“That for me is one of the biggest challenges but also one of the most rewarding aspects – we’ve got such different personalities and I love getting to see what makes a player ticks.”
One of those players, captain Sasha Corbin, echoes the calls of her head coach as hopes to lead her side into the top four.
Corbin said: “It’s a process. Every game, as long as we are doing what we want to do, we will make the top four.
“I have so much confidence in the team. It is wide open, every team can beat every team and it’s going to be tough – week in, week out which is what we want.”
The 2023 Netball Super League season gets underway on Saturday 11 February, live on Sky Sports. Tickets to games across the season can be found at: //netballsl.com/tickets