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Paige Reed is finding answers at Manchester Thunder

Image courtesy of Getty Sport

Paige Reed had more questions than answers when she became the newest cog in the Manchester Thunder machine.

“From the outside, Thunder are fit, scary, dominant,” she says. “What is Paige from Gloucester going to add to this?”

We already have the answer – a lot. Reed has slotted seamlessly into Karen Greig’s well-oiled system, playing her part in three successive victories to open up the Netball Super League season.

“It’s the best season I’ve ever been a part of and it’s only three games in!” gushes Reed. “It’s an amazing environment. As Thunder, we ooze professionalism, we live and die on the court together and we all push for each other. It’s a really good culture.”

As Head of Performance at the University of Nottingham, Reed knows great coaching when she sees it.

She has spent her first months in yellow and black taking in the foundations of the house that Greig built and adding layers to her own game in the process.

“It all starts from Karen,” says Reed. “I didn’t know people personally when I came in but she has actively picked people who will gel as characters and will make the team better.

“I’m quite a flair, creative sort of player. I have a different style to what Thunder have maybe been known for but what’s nice is that Karen has brought me into this team to strengthen it and work on my weaknesses.

“She doesn’t want me to play like any other shooter. She wants me to play for me and the team.

“Being at Thunder has taught me a lot about discipline, when to try new things and when to play it smart but simple.
Before, I’ve always been given freedom to be creative but with Thunder there’s a time and a place. I’m continuing to learn and learn the Thunder way – which is winning, basically.”

Reed, who started her career with Team Bath, represented Severn Stars from 2019 to 2022 before switching to Leeds Rhinos.

Now at Thunder, for the first time in her career she is playing for a team where winning is the baseline requirement.

“Joining Thunder was definitely a massive step up mentally,” said Reed, who got engaged in October to Maliq Holden, who is a winger at Doncaster Knights of rugby union’s Championship.

“It has shifted my mindset when it comes to winning.

“Winning is their norm and their minimum expectation. It speaks for itself and I am now part of that mentality. The team have been amazing in not letting our standards slip. Now I couldn’t imagine not going into every game expecting to win.”

Reed is going home on Friday night to face her former side Stars. The fixture is a very different proposition this season, with Jo Trip leading a revival with a new squad in the West Midlands last season and carrying it into the new campaign to set up a top of the table clash between the only two unbeaten sides.

“It doesn’t feel like the same Stars that I played for,” said Reed. “They’ve had a total refresh and it makes them a force. They look great, they’ve got great players and the environment seems strong.

 

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“Gloucester is home for me and I was at Stars for four years, it will always hold a special place in my heart. It was a building block for me as a player and I’ll always be grateful.

“They’re in good form and so are we, but we’ve got tunnel vision on us and a belief in what we can do.”

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