Lisa leads the Hatters into new season

Pictured at the Sheffield Hatters 50th Dinner at Sheffield Town , Hall saturday 1st Oct 2011'Hatters Team
Pictured at the Sheffield Hatters 50th Dinner at Sheffield Town , Hall saturday 1st Oct 2011'Hatters Team

LISA Hutchinson is to lead City of Sheffield Hatters’ quest for more glory when the new season opens later this month.

The all-action guard has been named as skipper in place of Katie Crowley who has taken a ‘time out’ as she awaits the birth of her first child next April.

Pictured at the Sheffield Hatters 50th Dinner at Sheffield Town , Hall saturday 1st Oct 2011

Pictured at the Sheffield Hatters 50th Dinner at Sheffield Town , Hall saturday 1st Oct 2011

“Lisa’s a natural leader and she’ll get the players organised,” said head coach Vanessa Ellis.

Not that Katie will be too far away as she’s set to exchange her playing role for that of spectator-in-chief so her teammates and the opposition will certainly hear her! Hatters, who have just celebrated their 50th anniversary, begin their new campaign at Northumbria on October 22.

“We’re looking forward to it,” added Ellis. “We’ve achieved a lot over the years and we’re aiming to continue to build on that by winning more trophies.”

Vanessa has received a surprise pre-season bonus with the addition of New Zealander Char Purcell to the squad.

Her rugby league playing husband has joined Wakefield and Char contacted the Hatters to see if she could come over for a trial. “She’s played for the national team and really knows the game,” said Vanessa. “I’m sure she’ll fit in really well with the Hatters.” In addition to the experienced Kiwi, two up-and-coming players, 17-year-old Ashley Summner and Ellis Clayton, aged 18, will both be involved with the first team squad this season.

Meanwhile the Hatters celebrated their half-century with a celebration dinner at the Town Hall.

The event also marked last season’s treble-winning success - the eighth time the club has achieved this feat.