Karen Greig completes her 2017 Manchester Thunder squad
Paige Kindred, Beccy Hoult, Sophie Morgan and Dani Bloomfield have been selected to play for the Black and Yellows next season.
All four have previous Superleague experience and will bring a mixture of youth and raw talent to the team.
Now her final 12 is complete, Greig is focused on pre-season and is ready to work on blending her squad, which is a balance of youth and experience.
“I am really pleased with the squad that we have pulled together,” she said. “The blend of youth, experience and styles is what I am excited about the most. I really believe over the next four months of pre-season we can solidify and create a tight night performance environment which will see us challenging those top four play-off spots.”
Defender Kindred will be hoping to secure a more consistent place in the team, after being on the fringes for a couple of seasons. Greig said of the England U21 player: “It was important to include a young upcoming defender, over the past few years Paige has really matured both on court and off, she has got herself into s really good position physically and has more than proved herself over the summer.” Team-mate Hoult is one of the country’s rising centre-court stars and her versatility gives her an edge.
Following stints with Surrey Storm and Celtic Dragons, Morgan is raring to go after a year away from the top level. Greig has included Morgan due to her experience and desire to learn. “It’s great to have Sophie back in the Black and Yellow having represented Thunder as a youngster at NPL level. Sophie will be sure to add more speed into our already rapid attacking end.”
Bloomfield, who returns to netball after taking some time off to carve out a career in teaching, completes the squad. The 6ft player is also able to play in a number of position and Greig expects the former England U21 to be an asset to the 12-strong squad. “Dani is just what we need in a smaller squad of 12 and can offer us solid performance across four positions on the court something which will be invaluable to our mixture of youth and experience.”
Greig has also selected five Thunder youth players as training partners for the Superleague squad. It is an opportunity for Taylor Cullen, Amy Carter, Abigail Tyrrell, Leia Griffin and Ellie Smith to gain exposure and experience in a Superleague training set-up. Greig added: “All five training partners are eligible for the new U21 competition this season so being pushed each week twice a week in training will hopefully give them the step up and experience they need to transfer into that competition.”
FULL THUNDER 2017 SQUAD:
- Emma Dovey
- Kerry Almond
- Paige Kindred
- Dani Bloomfield
- Sophie Morgan
- Marvadene ‘Bubbles’ Anderson
- Gabriella Marshall
- Beccy Hoult
- Amy Clinton
- Liana Leota
- Kathryn Turner
- Bea Skingsley