Natalie Haythornthwaite was the standout player of the Vitality Netball Superleague last year, and was voted the 2015 Player of The Season.
The 23-year-old from Burnley, who plays Goal Attack, Wing Attack and Goal Shooter was integral in Yorkshire Jets’ season, leading by example as vice-captain and helping them to the play-offs for the first time in their history.
After six years with Jets, Haythornthwaite naturally caught the eye of other Superleague franchises and for the 2016 season, made the switch across the Pennines to Manchester Thunder.
Haythornthwaite was former ANZ coach Dan Ryan’s first signing, with his experience in the antipodean league being the main factor tempting her to move.
She’s a player with huge ambition and the perfect replacement for Australian Chelsea Pitman who left Thunder in the off-season to make a return to the ANZ to play for New Zealand side Mojo Pulse.
Last season was pivotal for her as she came into her own in the Superleague and turned heads for international selection.
She was selected by England to join the World Cup warm-up series against Trinidad and Tobago where she gained invaluable experience on the international stage playing alongside experienced England players.
This international nod, combined with her consistent Superleague form, translated into being selected for the Australian Diamonds three-Test Series against the Roses in January.
For a dedicated full-time student, studying Speech and Language Therapy at Leeds Beckett University, Haythornthwaite is balancing two very hectic schedules, but it’s definitely doing her no harm on the netball court!