Superleague 2015: Stacey Francis sees Team Bath 'wake-up call'

Stacey Francis
Stacey Francis has been involved in all five of Bath's title-winning teams

England defender Stacey Francis says Team Bath will come back stronger this season after missing out on the 2014 Superleague final.

Bath are the most successful club in the league's history, having won the title five times in nine years.

But they failed to progress past the semi-finals last term, losing out to eventual winners Manchester Thunder.

"We didn't achieve our full potential but I think it was a wake-up call," Francis, 27, told BBC Radio Bristol.

"Players and coaches alike have gone away and looked at what we're doing and what we're offering.

"When things aren't going well through panic and stress you look to place blame. But now people are taking responsibility for themselves and pushing each other in training."

Superleague winners
2014 - Manchester Thunder2013 - Team Bath
2012 - Northern Thunder (now Manchester)2011 - Hertfordshire Mavericks
2010 - Team Bath2009 - Team Bath
2008 - Hertfordshire Mavericks2007 - Team Bath
2006 - Team Bath

Team Bath finished the regular 2014 season third in the table, behind Manchester in second and unbeaten Surrey in top spot.

Hertfordshire Mavericks ended up fourth in the standings and beat Bath in the third-place play off match which preceded the Grand Final.

But with some of the eight Superleague teams adding international stars to their rosters, Francis says the league is more competitive than ever.

"It will be a fierce contest to reach the top four," added Francis, who has been a part of all five title-winning teams. "The league is getting stronger and stronger, which is fantastic.

"You want more high quality netball, you don't want walkovers, although the players enjoy those as much as the fans do."

Team Bath start their season on Saturday at Team Northumbria, before travelling to Manchester to face Thunder a week later.

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