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Lightning complete squad for 2024 title defence campaign

Lightning complete squad for 2024 title defence campaign

Loughborough Lightning have today revealed the final additions to their line up ahead of the 2024 Netball Super League (NSL) season.

Vitality Roses, Future Roses, Loughborough University Alumni and South African Internationals are the clues used to describe Lightning’s 2024 defensive unit with familiar faces and new signings in the mix.

Alice Harvey

GK Alice Harvey returns to NSL 2024 after playing a key role for Lightning in their title campaign last season.

Rising through the netball ranks, Harvey joined the England youth set-up in 2016 and tasted success for the first time in the form of the Europe Netball Championships at U17 level in 2017. 2019 was a key year in her development, where she toured Australia with the U19 Roses side and claimed gold with the U21’s at the Europe Netball Championship.

At domestic level, a figure of success from Lightning’s Academy having competed in their U19 and U21 sides, she secured her first Netball Super League (NSL) contract in the 2020 season and helped the team to their historic maiden title in 2021.

2023 was a major year for Harvey as she was awarded a full time Vitality Roses contract for the 2023-24 international season shortly before lifting the NSL trophy for the second time with Lightning. Harvey is busy preparing for the Roses upcoming tour to New Zealand where she hopes to add to her seven caps in the red dress.

Annabel Roddy

Returning to Loughborough for the first time since 2021 former Loughborough University student Annabel Roddy was a part of Lightning’s history making side that lifted the NSL trophy for the first time in 2021.

Plying her trade at both domestic and international level, Roddy competed in the England age group set up from U17, winning Netball Europe in in 2017, up to U21 and received her first NSL cap at just 18 years old. Roddy then got her first taste of success in purple, winning the British Fast5 All Stars competition in 2019.

Moving on in 2022 and 2023 to Cardiff Dragons, Roddy benefitted from crucial court time during her stint at the Welsh outfit and hopes to bring that experience back to Lightning as they look to retain their title in 2024;

“It feels so good to be back at Loughborough and to re-join the Lightning family. I’m looking forward to pushing myself alongside such a strong team and working hard to keep the title. I’m ready and excited for the challenge.”

Jade Popoola

Selected into the England Roses Academy at 17-years-old and receiving her first NSL cap with London Pulse in 2022, 19-year-old Jade Popoola has enjoyed a rapid rise to the top in netball.

This year it was confirmed that Popoola would move from the Roses Academy into the Future Roses set up meaning Jade would gain the opportunity to train alongside England’s top athletes.

Looking ahead to the 2024 season, Popoola has now made the switch to Loughborough Lightning where she hopes her upwards path will continue with the 2023 champions;

“I’m really excited to join the Loughborough Lightning squad for this coming season. I am so grateful to have such an amazing opportunity to work alongside such experienced and talented players and coaches who will help me grow as an aspiring player.”

Nicola Smith

23-year-old defender Nicola Smith is the final name in lightning’s defensive unit for 2024. A South African International, Smith joins Lightning fresh from the 2023 Netball World Cup where her nation hosted the first ever competition on African soil.

Smith joins fellow South African players such as Sigi Burger and Shadine van der Merwe, all of whom are plying their trade in the NSL.

Following in the footsteps of fellow countrywoman Zanele Vimbela who has departed Lightning this season, Smith hopes to benefit from the championship winning outfit in 2024;

“I literally can’t wait to get started with Loughborough Lightning! I’ve heard such amazing things about their team, coaches and culture and I know to be a part of that will be really special. I’m joining the champions because I want to be a champion too and the 2024 season can’t come soon enough!”

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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