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The 2023 Signing Window: A Wrap Up

10 teams. Brand new signings. Familiar faces. Take a look at our top five moments from the 2023 Signing Window.

1. Geva Mentor makes an NSL comeback

After 15 years living in Australia and playing in the ANZ Championship and Suncorp Super Netball (SSN), Mentor has decided to move back to the UK and join Leeds Rhinos.

After starting in the NSL (previously known as the Super Cup,) Mentor played a pivotal role in Team Bath’s inaugural year, winning the title and playing alongside some of the league’s most iconic players including, Tamsin Greenway, Rachel Dunn, Pamela Cookey, Stacey Francis-Bayman and Jess Thirlby.The former Team Bath and Surrey Storm defender initially broke the news about her return on Instagram.

Speaking about her move, Mentor commented: “I am super delighted to announce that I will be coming back to play in Super League.

“It has been many years since I have played in England at club level, having spent the majority of my career playing netball in Australia in the ANZ Championship and Suncorp Super Netball.

“I am excited that I will now be moving up north, and this southern lass will be playing for Leeds Rhinos.  There are a few things that have drawn me to the club, not only to play under the coaching of Liana Leota but also to help grow the sport in Yorkshire.

“I can’t wait to be able to connect back to the community, meet the team and get settled into my new club and play in Super League.”

Mentor’s return to the Super League has been eagerly anticipated by fans and will certainly be one to watch this coming season.

2. Nicholé Taljaard can feel the Pulse

A big name from the 2023 Netball World Cup, Nicholé Taljaard is coming across to play in her first Netball Super League season for London Pulse.

The South African international stunned crowds at the World Cup, which took place in the summer, with her last second buzzer beaters, some of which she will be hoping to add to the 2024 season.

Taljaard started playing netball at the age of 5, and has not looked back. A sporty child at school, she played a number of sports, but netball won her over and she went on to represent her country. Her international debut was in 2022 against Wales, adding goal after goal to her team’s scoreboard.

Taljaard’s impressive shooting ability will be certainly one to look out for in 2024, hoping to lead her team to another Grand Final weekend.

Franchise Director and Head Coach Sam Bird commented:

“I am so excited about the squad we have put together for the new season. We have kept the core of our history-making 2023 team and added to it with world class talent in key positions. I truly believe we have a squad that can take us one step further this season and I cannot wait to get started.”

3.  Emma Thacker makes moves to Mavericks

After winning the Netball Super League (NSL) title in 2023 with Loughborough Lightning, shooting star Emma Thacker is set to join Saracens Mavericks for their 2024 season campaign.

After scoring 242 goals last season, Thacker’s move to Mavericks will see her transfer those shooting skills into a whole new attacking unit. The 20 year-old with insane shooting skills has also seen herself selected for the upcoming Roses series against the Silver Ferns in New Zealand.

Upon moving to Mavericks, Head Coach, Camilla Buchanan said: “I know Emma is going to go on to gain many caps for England. She’s got a really unorthodox style at goal attack and that’s something we really want to embrace. We really want to unlock her magic in that attacking third.”

With Thacker having the taste of victory from NSL2023, she is keen to drive her team towards tasting success with her.

4. Anya Williams hears Thunder in Manchester

Manchester Thunder pathway product Anya Williams caught the attention of Head Coach Karen Greig following eye-catching performances for England in the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games. Since winning a bronze medal in Trinidad & Tobago, Williams has put pen to paper for her debut season in the 2024 Netball Super League.

The talented youngster has worked her way up the Manchester Thunder Pathway where she has shown aptitude and capability, resulting in her landing her a spot in the 2024 Manchester Thunder squad.

Williams’ journey with Thunder started with her playing up for the U15 school games in 2021, where she went on to join the U19 Manchester NPL squad with her flair for shooting standing out to Thunder. Williams also plays for YWCA Bury Netball Club who were crowned National Club division two winners in 2022.

Now, having to juggle school commitments and a hefty Thunder training schedule, Williams will make sure she has a plan of action in place:

Having a schedule is the main thing that keeps me in check, and coaches definitely help with juggling the training aspect and school.” When asked about what her friends think of the opportunity she said, “I don’t think my friends understand how hard it is to play up, they just think it’s like school netball but it’s completely different.

5. Mum-to-be Iona Christian signs for Sirens

After announcing her pregnancy in August, Iona Christian was unsure whether she would be returning to court in 2024, but Strathclyde Sirens were there to support her at just the right time.

A big name in the netball world, not only from the NSL but the international stage too, Christian stands out from the rest with her determination on and off the court. Set to give birth in the early stages of 2024, Sirens are set to help Christian balance being a mother and full time athlete.

On social media Iona shared: “Wow, this was an opportunity I didn’t expect this season! I’m so thankful to Sirens for the support they’ve shown me as I embark on this next adventure of becoming a mother. A big thank you in particular to Karen and Lesley for keeping the door open for me to potentially get back on court with this Sirens team in 2024! I’m also looking forward to having a slightly different role helping out and learning from the coaching team in the build up to what’s going to be a super exciting season!”

A huge step in the right direction for women’s sport, Sirens have made waves in giving confidence to expectant and postpartum mothers that they can indeed return to sport once having a baby, with the right support.

It’s exceptional to see Sirens supporting an athlete through their pregnancy journey as we know this is a life stage where women often feel unsupported through netball and uneducated about their bodies and the changes it is going through.

NetballHer is here to support women across the life stages with expert resources and myth busting articles and will soon be launching the section of the website specifically for pre and post natal women, so keep your eyes peeled for this exciting update.

You can find out all of the information on each squad for the 2024 season 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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