Netball Superleague: Three new teams added, but Yorkshire Jets left out

Surrey Storm
Surrey Storm beat Manchester Thunder 55-53 in May's Netball Superleague Grand Final

Netball Superleague has added three new teams for the 2017 season, but Yorkshire Jets have not been offered a place in the expanded competition.

Scottish Sirens, Severn Stars and Coventry-based Wasps have been included, making 10 teams in total.

However, an online petition has been set up in protest against the decision to remove Yorkshire from Superleague.

"To say we are gutted at the outcome is an understatement," said Jets chairperson Mariana Pexton.

"This decision by England Netball will have far-reaching consequences.

"Not having a Superleague franchise for Yorkshire, given all that has been achieved, seems like throwing away a huge opportunity and is a setback for netball and women's sport in the region."

The Jets finished bottom of the table last season, winning only one of their 14 games.

In a statement, England Netball said they would "continue to work with Jets and the wider Yorkshire netball community".

It continued: "We plan to work with them and other unsuccessful applicants to create a foundation that will allow them to join the league in a stronger position in the future, should expansion be possible."

The new expanded league will now have eight clubs from England and one each from Scotland and Wales.

Scottish Sirens, which will be based at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, will be a partnership involving the University of the West of Scotland.

Scotland national coach Gail Parata, who will be the franchise's head of performance, said: "The Sirens Franchise is an exciting and important next step for our sport here in Scotland.

"We will also be able to expose our national athletes to an elite training environment that will enhance their own development and performance as both individuals and a team.

"We look forward to positively contributing to the development of some of the UK's most talented national and pathways players, including our own.

"A successful Superleague will ultimately mean more successful national teams for all of the home nations."

Severn Stars, who are dual based at the University of Gloucester and Worcester University, will play their home matches for now at The Arena in Worcester.

Gloucester does not yet have a suitable venue, but BBC Hereford & Worcester reports that they are looking to build one.