Northern Ireland captain Caroline O’Hanlon’s return to netball’s British SuperLeague this evening will be in front of a live television audience and capacity crowd of 4000.
O’Hanlon’s Scottish Sirens franchise make their debut against fellow newcomers Wasps Netball at a sold-out Emirates Arena in Glasgow (7.15pm) on Sky Sports 2.
Scotland’s first professional netball team is one of three new outfits who will be competing in an expanded 10-team SuperLeague this season.
They have been brought in along with the Coventry-based Wasps and Worcester-centred Severn Stars, with Yorkshire Jets having been jettisoned.
Northern Ireland’s most capped international netballer, O’Hanlon previously played for Tyneside-based franchise Team Northumbria for two seasons before opting out last year.
The European Player of 2010 was unveiled as one of four high-profile overseas signings by the new Sirens franchise last October and will be the only NI-based player in this year’s competition.
Domestically, O’Hanlon is on the verge of leading Larkfield to their fourth NI Premier League title on the trot in her 10th season as club captain.
Player of the Tournament as Northern Ireland won the Nations Cup in Singapore last winter, O’Hanlon hopes to lead the girls in green into next year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Having finished a superb seventh at Glasgow 2014, Elaine Rice’s side will qualify for the event in Australia if they retain their place in the top 12 of the world rankings in the coming months.
Multi-talented O’Hanlon is also a former All Ireland Player of the Year in ladies gaelic and the triple All Star is captain of current interpro champions Ulster.
“It’s exciting to be involved with this extremely professional Sirens set-up and I’m looking forward to playing with and against so many of the world’s leading netballers,” she said.
“With the Commonwealths hopefully on the horizon for Northern Ireland, this SuperLeague experience can only benefit my game.”