Hertfordshire Mavericks: Karen Atkinson and Kat Ratnapala exit

Karen Atkinson speaks to Herfordshire Mavericks players
Atkinson (centre) guided Hertfordshire Mavericks to a fourth-place finish last season

Hertfordshire Mavericks head coach Karen Atkinson and assistant Kat Ratnapala have both left the club.

Atkinson, a former England international, guided the two-time Superleague winners to the play-off semi-finals last season.

The 36-year-old will be replaced as head coach by Sam Bird, who has been part of the backroom staff at the Mavericks for the last nine years.

Amanda Newton, Mel Mansfield and Maggie Jackson will join Bird's coaching team.

Newton captained the England side in the 2007 World Championships, while Mansfield is currently the head coach at the University of Hertfordshire.

Jackson, meanwhile, is set to take on the role as director of performance.

In May, Atkinson was awarded an MBE for her services to netball, having won bronze medals with England at the 1998, 2006 and 2010 Commonwealth Games.