Zara Everitt knows that London Pulse will be confronted by a different level of expectation heading into the 2023 Netball Super League season.
Everitt was part of the Pulse side which came third in 2022, the first time the club had ever finished in the play-off places.
They went down to Team Bath in the third place play-off but Everitt knows that the game has now changed for Pulse.
She said: “From an external perspective, things maybe seem to have changed but within the club we felt pressure last year to perform, that’s the expectation we have on ourselves.
“We want to back up the performances we put out last year and even overshoot.
“We’re thriving in that environment of being expected to be up there in the top four and excited to prove people right.”
The squad has seen a few changes since 2022, with England stalwarts Jade Clarke and Chelsea Pitman adding significant depth.
Pitman, 34, has represented England 45 times since 2017, while Clarke, 39, has amassed exactly 200 caps since first selection in 2002.
Everitt said: “We have a couple of new players into the team who are going to provide something else.
“All of our athletes are developing all the time and we hopefully have a few tricks up our sleeves.
“Jade is part of our leadership team and brings so much experience, we have so much respect for her – it’s the same for Chelsea as well.
“They come with so much knowledge, their enthusiasm and love for the game is there. It’s an exciting combination to have that experience and that youthful energy.”
At 22, Everitt is a young captain in a team with a range of experience levels in the sport.
She said: “I think because we have such a young team, I’m not thinking about myself as a young captain.
“It’s a really fun role to have. It’s a good group to lead, everyone wants to prove themselves.
“It’s just a job I am looking forward to taking on.”
Pulse face Leeds Rhinos in Nottingham’s season opener.
With so much international experience coming in, selection for the summer’s World Cup in South Africa could also be in the minds of a number of the London Pulse players.
“We all want to perform well for each other and for the team but a lot of us would love to be in that World Cup team come the summer.”
“Once we are in the pink and focusing on our performances week to week, I don’t think anybody is putting the pressure on themselves to perform to be selected for the World Cup.
“England selection is in the back of people’s minds but Pulse focus all the way now until the end of the season.”
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