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Lightning’s title winning mid-court return for season 2024

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: during the Netball Super League 2023 Grand Final match between Loughborough Lightning and London Pulse at Copper Box Arena on June 11, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Morgan Harlow/Getty Images)

Netball Super League (NSL) champions Loughborough Lightning have further bolstered their 2024 squad today, adding a quartet of returning midcourters to the fold.

Fan favourites and Lightning stalwarts Beth Cobden, Nat Panagarry and Hannah Joseph return whilst 2023 training partner Bella Baylis earns her first ever Lightning NSL contract.

Nat Panagarry

Lightning’s captain fantastic Nat Panagarry is a welcome return after a turbulent year off court saw her reap the rewards on court, leading her side to their second title in NSL history.

The Loughborough Lightning captain’s world was rocked late in 2022, when wife Katie was diagnosed with cancer, with Panagarry bravely speaking about its impact on their relationship and how netball offered a much-needed escape.

Panagarry responded with the season of her life on court, earning six Gilbert Player of the Match awards as she led her side to a third consecutive Netball Super League Grand Final.

Now, Panagarry looks ahead to season number nine in purple and the chance for her side to gain back to back victories:

 “That competitive edge we have at Lightning, that is the reason why I love this club, I have been here eight years, it is about constantly pushing each other no matter what age you are or how many medals you have got around your neck.”

Beth Cobden

A standing ovation and a triumphant return to the NSL part way through the 2023 season, gave Beth Cobden a much-needed boost after two years riddled with injury.

There have been plenty of times when Cobden could have walked away from netball. She has suffered three ACL injuries during her career and a calf injury ruled her out of England’s Commonwealth Games squad in 2022 but that didn’t stop her from working hard to get back on court and to achieve the ultimate goal.

Beth is now looking forward to a full season of netball in 2024;

Hannah Joseph

Starting her NSL career in 2011 whilst studying for a degree at Loughborough University, Hannah has gone on to become one of the longest serving players in Lightning’s rich history.

Returning for her 12th season in the purple dress, Hannah has enjoyed great success in her sport over the past 12 months, gaining selection into the Vitality Roses full-time programme for 2023-24. Loughborough fans will be excited to witness the Lightning stalwart in action on the world stage as she prepares to face New Zealand in the upcoming test series.

Bella Baylis

No stranger to high performance sport, Bella has enjoyed success at both U17 and U21 age group for England and for the 2023-24 season was awarded with a Future Roses contract.

Earning her first NSL contract with Saracens Mavericks in 2021, Bella went on to gain eight appearances for Lightning’s title winning season in 2023 and has thus been rewarded with a place in the 12 for 2024.

“It’s a dream come true to be given this opportunity. I feel so honoured to be part of this franchise with such amazing players, coaches and support staff. I’m incredibly grateful to the coaches for giving me my first NSL contract and can’t wait to get started.”

Balancing her studies at Loughborough University with netball, Bella is certainly one to watch for the upcoming season.

You can keep up to date with all the 2024 squads and signings here.

To keep up with the latest news, make sure to follow the @NetballSL on  Twitter, Instagram and TikTok and subscribe to our newsletter.

 

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