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Mystics add Bailey and Clayden

Manchester Mystics have added experienced guards Rheanne Bailey and Joanna Clayden to their WBBL squad for the 2016/17 season.

Bailey, 24, is a former Great Britain Under-20 international, while Clayden, 32, has appeared for the senior GB side.

“Both players bring much needed skills to the squad,” said Mystics head coach Jeff Jones.

“Rheanne brings a defensive toughness to the team, along with a great winning mentality, having enjoyed success at Leicester and Loughborough respectively.

“She loves to compete and should instil that into the younger players that we are trying to develop for the future.”

According to Jones, the 5ft 10in Clayden is “one of the best shooters that has played in this country”.

He added: “That will probably be the kiss of death for her, but, seriously, we not only need the outside threat she poses but her length will be invaluable to us on the defensive end.

“Jo has been demonstrating an understanding of the game and specific roles. I watched her coach in a regional tournament the other weekend and I really think it has helped her individual game as much as the good job she did with her team.”

Jones added: “Both players join a club where they will see familiar faces, having played with most of the senior players at one time or another.

“We are hoping to add a couple more players as soon as we can, as well as finding some young players who can make the grade of the new Mystics.”

Blackpool-born Clayden, who has played for Sheffield Hatters and Leeds Carnegie, is completing a return to Manchester, having spent some time with the club earlier in her career.

She attended Auburn University in the NCAA and even had a year playing professionally in Spain.

Bailey, from Birmingham, has also played with Leeds Carnegie, as well as Nottingham Wildcats, Loughborough and Leicester Riders, where she took to the court in 20 games during the inaugural WBBL season in 2014/15.