Netball ace set for New Zealand switch

Sara Bayman has captained England
Sara Bayman has captained England

Wigan’s England international Sara Bayman will suit up for the Central Pulse in next year’s ANZ Netball Elite League in New Zealand.

Bayman, 31, will swap the black and yellow of Manchester Thunder in the UK Super League for the same colour combination as the Pulse’s import in next year’s new national league.

The former Up Holland High and Winstanley College student said: “With the new leagues being established in New Zealand and Australia, everyone wants to play down there and to get the opportunity is just really exciting and I can’t wait.

“I’d like to think I can add a bit of experience to a young midcourt and from having some international experience, just to help give a solid spine for the team to work from.

“ I’d like to pass on whatever leadership skills and knowledge than I can while soaking up the Kiwi style at the same time.”

Bayman, who was unavailable for the recent Quad Series, captained England in their international series against Australia in January, and will be available for the team’s home series against Jamaica in December.

“Making sure the Pulse were the right fit was really important and having spoken to (coach) Yvette (McCausland-Durie), I’m really excited by what they want to do and how they’re looking to play. It just felt like a really good fit for me and now I’m excited to get started,” she said.

McCausland-Durie was excited about the capture.

She said: “Sara will provide really good experience in the midcourt for us.

“She’s played internationally for a number of years and is a fantastic signing for us.’’

Bayman’s former England team-mate Karen Atkinson – a fellow Wiganer – played Down Under during her career, with a spell at Perth.