WBBL Team guide: Newcastle Eagles

The North-East franchise are in their second season as Newcastle Eagles and are pushing to add the club’s overall success.

Last season: Chris Bunten’s side were knocked out in the group phase in the Trophy, but did reach the Semi-Finals of the Cup only to suffer another crucial loss against eventual winners Sevenoaks Suns.

In the league, Newcastle were mounting a serious challenge heading into the final stretch with their 11-3 record good for third spot just behind the Suns and Leicester Riders.

Back again: Rachael Bland was the first confirmed name on the 2020-21 roster with European duo Lisa Koop and Mante Kvederaviciute following as returnees.

The Eagles also secured the return of one of the league’s all-time leading scorers in Alison Gorrell, who starred in previous spells in the North-East and in Sheffield and makes a return alongside Sarah Birkett after time away.

Millie Oates and Mollie Arnold are back from last season’s roster alongside Ruth Thornley and academy product Orieoma Chukwu-Etu.

New faces: Former GB Under-20 duo Abby Lowe and Molly Taylor both arrive fresh from the US, while American guard Maddy McVicar joins out of the University of Maine.

Spaniard Marina Fernandez is another new name having been former team-mate of Lowe at San Diego State. There’s also a WBBL return for Jorjah Smith, who previously played for Manchester.

Outlook: Newcastle have a deep roster with strength in depth and the star acquisition of Gorrell could push them to new heights.