Ine-Mari Venter joins Saracens Mavericks for 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague season

Saracens Mavericks have secured the services of South African shooter Ine-Mari Venter for the 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague season.

After previous playing spells for Melbourne Vixens and Queensland Firebirds, and representing South African on the international stage, Ine-Mari will make her domestic debut on English soil next season.

Ahead of the move to Kat Ratnapala’s team from the Firebirds, she took to social media to share her reasons for leaving Australia at this point in her career.

“What a season 2020 has been,” she said.

“I have just loved every second with the Birdies and exploring beautiful Queensland, but the time has come for me to explore other opportunities.

“I still have big hopes and dreams for my netball career and for this reason I had to make the difficult choice to move to where my playing opportunities lie.”

The playing opportunities at Saracens Mavericks lie in the form of taking over from England Vitality Rose George Fisher.

Fisher announced her departure for the ANZ Premiership back in mid-September and Venter, who is 192cm and plays both GS and GA, arrives at Mavericks highly recommended.

“Ine has continued to impress everybody at the club, both as a player and a person, from the moment she set foot in the door,” Jeremy Hickmans, Queensland Firebirds’ high performance director said.

“She should be very proud of the contribution she has made to our group. While she will certainly be missed, we know it’s important in the context of her international playing career that she continues to challenge herself at the highest level. We wish her nothing but success in the next phase of her career.”

Venter completes Saracens Mavericks’ roster for the 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague season and she cannot wait to be a part of the franchise.

“I have been lucky enough to be part of the Suncorp Super Netball for the past two years, gaining a lot of experience and learning a lot about myself and the game.

“Now I am so excited to start using what I have learned over those two years and getting out there on court with Saracens Mavericks for the 2021 season.”

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Saracens Mavericks fans will be eager to see how Venter links up with Gabby Marshall in mid-court, who recently showed during England’s first Test against New Zealand how well she can connect with a strong shooter. Equally, Sasha Corbin has the vision and fitness to single-out Venter for a full 60 minutes.

Inside the circle, Kadeen Corbin’s flair and experience should complement Venter well and with Razia Quashie, Jo Trip and Jodie Gibson returning, Ratnapala’s squad has strength all over the court.

When the season starts in February 2021, the franchise will be fully focused on breaking a run of missing out on the play-offs. Back-to-back fifth-place finishes at the end of the 2018-19 and 2017-18 seasons have frustrated them.

Prior to the 2020 season being cancelled due to COVID-19, Saracens Mavericks had won two of their three matches and had looked in excellent form for the campaign ahead.

Saracens Mavericks squad: Kadeen Corbin, Jodie Gibson, Gabby Marshall, Razia Quashie, Bella Baylis, Britney Pringle-Clarke, Aliyah Zaranyika, Sasha Corbin, Steph Collard, Beth Ecuyer-Dale, Chloe Essam, Georgia Lees, Dani McFarlane, Jo Trip and Ine-Mari Venter.

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