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Kerry Almond of Manchester Thunder.

Three-time Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) winner Kerry Almond is coming out of retirement to help Manchester Thunder retain their title following the late withdrawal of Loreen Ngwira.

The Malawian defender has had to be replaced for medical reasons and Almond was the perfect player to fill the gap in the squad.

She had been back training with Thunder as an associate supporting the rest of the line-up and answered Karen Greig’s call when looking for a replacement with the new season starting on Friday.

“I said that was it and I wasn’t going to be tempted back. But I couldn’t stay away,” said Almond. “Not being able to play netball over the past year has been horrible for so many of us, and I have hated not being part of a team.

“So, when Karen asked if I would consider returning to the squad for another season playing in black and yellow, it was impossible to say no – especially as I know so many of our fans would do anything to be back together on court.

“My last game for Thunder was that Superleague title winning day nearly two years ago. Over the past few weeks, I have seen up close the work being done in training and I am confident we can defend our title. It will be strange not having our fans there to cheer us on, but I know you’ll be at home watching us and your support from your sofa will be driving us on.”

Karen Greig, Manchester Thunder Director of Netball, said: “If you’re going to have to replace a player so close to the season starting, you couldn’t ask for anyone better than Kerry to complete the squad.

“She is in great shape and looks like she has never been away. Like me and so many of our players, Kerry bleeds black and yellow so I’m thrilled to have her back with us for the 2021 season and we all can’t wait to step out on court this weekend.”

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