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Manchester Thunder Squad 2019

Thunder name training partners

Manchester Thunder have completed their squad for the 2019 season signing five training partners on the eve of the new Vitality Netball Superleague campaign.

Altrincham-based defender Paige Kindred returns after a season at the now defunct Team Northumbria, offering versatility to the squad as she covers all defensive positions.

18-year-old Elia McCormick shores up the defence and looks a great prospect for the future after strong displays in preseason. The feisty defender is a pathway success story and has impressed head coach Karen Greig enough to give her a shot in the Superleague this season.

Oldham stalwart Maria McAndrew is back in the fold after a five year break from Superleague. The wing attack’s last campaign saw her take away a winners medal as she was part of the 2012 championship winning squad.

Joining her in the centre court is youngster Amelia Hall, who makes the step up from the youth ranks. Hall was also part of the U21 winning squad in 2018 and also offers versatility and cover at the goal attack position.

Ally Thomas is back for her second season and joins a strong shooting circle, she will be looking to impress Greig and push for more court time this time round.

Starting tomorrow (Saturday) at Super 10 in Birmingham, two of the training partners will be selected to join the 10 registered players for each Superleague game.

Tomorrow, Thunder’s season begins against Saracens Mavericks (7pm) in what will be a blockbuster year for netball with the Vitality Netball World Cup in Liverpool in July.

Thunder head coach Karen Greig is keen to get started: “We’re all looking forward to kicking off the season this Saturday against Mavericks.

“We have had a good and intense pre-season where we have looked at a number of combinations working within our Thunder way and all have a different dynamic that bring an exciting brand of netball to the court.

“I am happy with where we are at and the squad are raring to go.

“Mavericks have recruited well over the off season strengthening both defence and shooting ends.

“If their possible combinations are firing they’ll definitely prove to be a tough team to beat on Saturday.”

Manchester Thunder’s full 2019 squad is:

Core Squad:

  • Rebekah Airey
  • Kerry Almond
  • Eleanor Cardwell
  • Amy Carter
  • Emma Dovey
  • Liana Leota
  • Laura Malcolm
  • Joyce Mvula
  • Caroline O’Hanlon
  • Kathryn Turner

Training Partners:

  • Amelia Hall
  • Paige Kindred
  • Maria McAndrew
  • Elia McCormick
  • Ally Thomas

Coaching Team:

  • Karen Greig, Director of Netball & Head Coach
  • Gabrielle Towell, Assistant Coach
  • Dan Ryan, Assistant Coach
  • Phil Thomas, Team Manager

You can get tickets to watch all 10 teams in action at the Super 10 season opener here.

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Thunder’s Greig: “We know we can beat them”

It’s been a long season, but now just four teams – and three games remain before the 2018 Vitality Netball Superleague champions are crowned.

Third-placed Manchester Thunder face Loughbroough Lightning, who finished second in the regular season, in their play-off game, while Wasps and Team Bath face-off in the other semi.

The winner of each will meet in the Grand Final on 7 July at the Copper Box Arena. And Thunder are desperate to be there.

On paper, very little separates the Black and Yellows and Lightning, who have one win apiece against each other this season, while the hosts secured the fixture at home due to their superior goal difference.

But mentality and approach shifts for the semi-finals, while Thunder head coach Karen Greig is aware that what has gone before her side this season, will not be the focus when they line-up at the Leicester Arena on Saturday.

“Once you get to the semis you have to focus on what’s in front and not what’s gone,” she said.

“The positive we take from the season is we know we can beat them.

“We approach this now in the same way as previous – watch them, break them down, have a game plan and ensure we implement our strengths within that.”

Thunder have been one of the most consistent sides this season building momentum with each game, only losing three times, and scoring over 1,000 (1056) goals along the way.

But so have Lightning, who have a similar record to Thunder, three losses, scoring two less (1054) but also conceding less (852 to Thunder’s 887) .

And as a result Greig is expecting an even match-up, and an organised and strong centre court from Anna Carter’s squad.

Greig said: “We have all seen that they are formidable at both ends of the court and have a strong centre court connecting them.

“I think there will be great match ups all over the court, but as we know when Joyce Mvula is on her game she is unstoppable.”

But whatever strengths Lighting may possess, Greig believes Thunder have the edge when it comes to togetherness and team spirit. Thunder thrive on being the underdog.

They always play right to the buzzer, with heart, grit and passion.

“I think the fact that we have been sitting under the radar from day one stands us in good stead,” she added.

“No one really has us down to be challengers, but I’ve got a solid squad with no real superstars (in others’ eyes) that play hard for each other and the franchise every game.

“Every northerner loves the under dog and we will go out and play like we’ve nothing to lose.”

Tickets for our semi-final against Lightning in Leicester are now on general sale.

The race to reach the Vitality Netball Superleague Grand Final is heating up – don’t miss out on the season-ending spectacular and get your tickets now!