Manchester Thunder, the reigning Vitality Netball Superleague champions, return to the court for the start of the 2019-20 season tomorrow (Saturday 12 October) at the season's opening competition, the British Fast-5 All Stars Championships.
And, while the champions have not traditionally done well in this, the shortened form of the game, head coach Karen Greig is excited for the challenge ahead:
"As a squad, we're really looking forward to the Fast-5 competition: we've had a solid three weeks of training, and while last night's session was the first with all our players, including our overseas All Stars, things really came together well. I'm excited for what we'll be putting out on court tomorrow."
Fast-5 is a shortened version of traditional netball, featuring teams of five players (instead of seven), with 12 minute games, rolling substitutions, powerplays and increased scoring opportunities via a bigger shooting zone. Greig is feeling confident about the Thunder ...
So, here we are. The Grand Final. It's been a tough old journey for Manchester Thunder to get here, but they've done it. Through hard work, grit and determination, they've done it, and will face Wasps at the Copperbox on Saturday 18th May.
Thunder started the season brightly, winning four games on the bounce. But, there have been a couple of nerve-racking moments, where Thunder just made it that bit more difficult for themselves. A shock loss against Severn Stars and both Team Bath and Loughborough Lightning getting the better of Thunder each time they met across the season. The Black and Yellows cut it down to the wire to qualify for the semi-finals and secure a home semi-final.
But, the moments of tension have been far out-weighed by the moments of brilliance. Doing the double over reigning champions Wasps, once at the Ricoh Arena and the other on an electric night at the Thunderdome. And, of course, securing their spot in the Grand Final with an emphatic ...
So, here it is, the one we've all been waiting for. Manchester Thunder will take on Wasps at Wright Robinson, the original Thunderdome, on Saturday in front of a sell out home crowd.
Thunder return to the Wright Robinson for the first time this season for this hotly anticipated fixture. Both sides will undoubtedly be heading into this tie with an understanding that this game is huge. Thunder sneaked to the top of the table last week as Wasps came agonisingly close, but eventually lost out, to Loughborough Lightning to record their second defeat in three games.
The top of the table clash sees Thunder attempt to do the double over Wasps this season, while the Coventry based side will be out for revenge after the Black and Yellows outclassed them on their home turf just a couple of weeks ago.
Given that both sides are level on points, separated on only goal difference, this fixture could break the deadlock and be a decisive turning point in each team's season and their ...
It's been a tough couple of weeks for Manchester Thunder, three away trips in the space of two weeks, as they travel to Coventry to play their rearranged game against top of the table Wasps.
The defending Champions are unbeaten so far in their season campaign, coming into this clash off the back of a convincing victory over Strathclyde Sirens.
Thunder head into the match in the hope of making a comeback, after a tough away trip to Team Bath last Friday saw them concede their first away defeat of the season.
Thunder were unlucky to come away with the loss at Bath after a string of decisions went against them. Bath were resilient in attack and Thunder struggled to take control in the early stages of the game, unable to recover as the game wore on. Something they will have hoped to improve and build on in the short period between the two games.
But back to back away trips is no mean feat, the Black and Yellows will have travelled no less than 1000 miles in the past ...
Manchester Thunder will be hoping to fly out of the blocks on Saturday as they entertain Loughborough Lightning at Belle Vue.
Thunder have been able to maintain their 100% record so far this season, after a tricky away trip last weekend. They will undoubtedly be hoping to build on a slow burner of a performance against Severn Stars, who were also defeated by Lightning in Round 2 of the Superleague season.
Lightning have been unable to find their feet so far this season, despite being the 2018 runners up it has been an inconsistent start to their campaign. They have lost three out of five matches and have so far been unsuccessful on the road.
Lightning lost a handful of key players during pre-season, most notably, England Roses star Beth Cobden and Ugandan international shooter Peace Proscovia. They have since faced difficulties in trying to assert themselves as title contenders.
Rebekah Airey will face her former team for the first time this season on Saturday, ...
Manchester Thunder travel to Severn Stars on Saturday with the plan to maintain their unbeaten record in the fourth match of the season.
After a tough game last week against Superleague newcomers London Pulse, the Black and Yellows will be hoping to bag another win against sixth place Stars.
Stars recorded their first win of the Superleague season against Celtic Dragons, evidently relieved at the return of their captain Maryka Holtzhausen.
They come into this game following a week away from the Superleague, after their fixture against Team Bath was cancelled due to the snow.
Thunder will hope to keep up the momentum of their season, the return of Liana Leota last week a welcome site to the Thunder crowd. Leota managed to get more than 45 minutes under her belt last week and is undoubtedly keen to get back on court once again this weekend.
However, with the strength that Thunder have coming off the bench this season, rest assured that that WA position will be in ...
Manchester Thunder take on newcomers London Pulse on Monday (4 February) in their third match of the season.
Thunder look ahead to the evening as ample opportunity to move up the Superleague table and keep the momentum high following last week’s impressive victory over Strathclyde Sirens.
The Black and Yellows will be looking to showcase their quality in front of the cameras, as the match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
Pulse travel to Manchester following two consecutive defeats at their home venue. The first being a significant defeat to last year’s bottom place Celtic Dragons. The second, a frustrating, but not crushing loss at the hands of Superleague champions Wasps.
This, after they showed such promise in the opening match of the season at Super 10, capitalising on the mistakes of Severn Stars to claw their way back into the game and eventually beat Stars by two goals in an exciting last quarter comeback.
Pulse pose an attacking threat but in ...
Super 10 returns this Saturday in what will be a blockbuster year for netball.
The Vitality Netball Superleague is back with a feast of netball, five back to back fixtures will be screened live on Sky Sports Mix as all 10 teams descend on the Arena Birmingham.
Manchester Thunder take on Saracens Mavericks in the final and most anticipated fixture of the day at 7pm. The black and yellows have kept hold of the nucleus of their squad, strengthening with the return of shooter Eleanor Cardwell making up probably the most formidable front line in the league. Mid-courter Laura Malcolm also makes a come-back, while former Thunder youth player Rebekah Airey moves back to the north west from Loughborough Lightning.
The Hertfordshire-based outfit have also recruited well in the off-season with the arrival of former players George Fisher and the Commonwealth gold medal winner Kadeen Corbin. While dogged defender Jo Tripp made the move across London from rivals Surrey Storm.
By Denise Evans
Another Superleague season is almost upon us.
Players are back in pre-season training and many familiar faces will return to play in the Black and Yellow dress for another year.
And while we've said goodbye to some during the off-season, we have also welcomed back others into the Thunder family.
Let's take a look at the squad, which players could be set to shine and who will be wanting to end their Thunder career by lifting the Superleague trophy.
Don't forget you can meet them at our Season Launch Day, including a pre-season friendly with Loughborough Lightning, on Saturday 17 November. Buy tickets here >>
The Superleague Squad
There's 10 players in Thunder's 2019 Superleague squad, with five additional training partners yet to be announced, two of which will be selected for each match day squad.
Kerry Almond, Emma Dovey, Rebekah Airey
Thunder stalwarts Dovey and Almond return to the fold, with young England defender ...
Manchester Thunder will show their support for the Rainbow Laces campaign at their final regular home game against Team Bath.
The Black and Yellows will go multi-coloured for the match, to mark Stonewall's initiative to support LGBT equality and inclusivity in sport.
It is the second time the squad, staff, volunteers and fans will embrace the campaign, with the players tying their trainers with special Rainbow Laces.
Head coach Karen Greig said: "You look at the LGBT community and how much more accepted it is these days and it's important that we show that as a sport and as a franchise.
"We want people to come along to the game in bright clothes and fancy dress and support a really great cause."
Thunder, who have already qualified for the play-offs, take on Team Bath at the Thunderdome on 23 June, and it is expected to be a pulsating game, with final standing in the Superleague table still to play for.
The top two sides will guarantee a home semi final on 30 ...