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Potgieter of Manchester Thunder.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 04: Lenize Potgieter of the Thunderbirds looks on during the round 13 Super Netball match between Adelaide Thunderbirds and Melbourne Vixens at Adelaide Entertainment Centre, on June 04, 2022, in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Barnes/Getty Images)

Champions Manchester Thunder have signed South African shooter Lenize Potgieter from Adelaide Thunderbirds for the 2023 Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) season.

The transfer is the first to be declared during the official announcement period and sets the tone for what is set to be an enthralling Signing Window ahead of the new campaign.

Potgieter is an experienced and dynamic shooter who has played at the very highest level both internationally for South Africa and domestically with spells in the VNSL, ANZ Premiership and Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) respectively.

Potgieter will bring some much needed fire-power to Karen Greig’s shooting circle having scored 453 goals in the SSN during the 2021 campaign with an accuracy of 95 per cent.

The shooter last played in the VNSL for Team Bath back in 2016 shortly after her successful 2015 Netball World Cup with the SPAR Proteas when she scored 298 times, the second-highest total at the tournament.

Potgieter continued her scoring streak in the UK and netted 372 times in her only Superleague season to date with an accuracy rate of 87 per cent. This earned her a move to Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic before moving to Southern Steel ahead of the 2019 season.

At the end of the 2019 season, Potgieter was signed by side Queensland Firebirds as an injury replacement for the rest of the Australian domestic season. Impressing in SSN, Potgieter signed with the Adelaide Thunderbirds where she finished second for Nissan Net Points in 2021.

Potgieter said: “Playing in the SSN league against the top defenders in the world has really improved my netball performance as well as taught me lessons along the way.

“The things I’ve heard and seen from the Manchester Thunder franchise is incredible. I’m really excited to be playing along side some great netballers, getting to know the fans and also return to normal, traditional netball

“I think what I bring to the team is my unorthodox style of play, and also my quick shooting action. I’m really looking forward to putting the black and yellow dress on for the 2023 season.”

At international level, Potgieter has gained 81 caps for her country and has featured at major international competitions such as the Netball World Cup – where she won bronze in 2019 – and the Commonwealth Games. Potgieter was absent from the latter in Birmingham this summer due to injury.

The 28-year-old is a direct replacement for the likes of Joyce Mvula and Eleanor Cardwell who both left for opportunities overseas following Thunder’s title-winning 2022 season.

Karen Greig, Head Coach and Director of Netball for Manchester Thunder, said: “I am so happy to have secured Lenize for this upcoming season. She has a proven track record at both international and domestic levels.

“She is a passionate athlete that is always pushing for success. I am really looking forward to working with her. Lenize has an unconventional style of play, so I’m excited to add a different element to our game. Welcome to Manchester, Lenize.”

This is Manchester Thunder’s second signing of the window after they announced they had agreed a deal with former Strathclyde Sirens defender Taylor McKevitt.

For news on all of the latest signings during the window, make sure to follow the @NetballSL on Twitter, Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter.

On Twitter, you’ll be able to keep across the ins and outs with our 2023 Signing Window Twitter Moment. For specific club news, be sure to be across all eleven of our teams on their respective social media accounts and subscribe to our List.

We will also be covering each signing in full on our website, offering weekly round-ups and are offering a comprehensive overview of 2023 squads on our Transfers page. Don’t miss out!

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