Gabrielle Towell will join Karen Greig as assistant and defensive coach for the 2018 Superleague season.
Towell steps in as Sara Hale is unable to fully commit to coaching due to personal circumstances.
However, Hale, who has completed three seasons as assistant coach and one as a player at Thunder, will work as a consultant coach in 2018, before rejoining the coaching team later in the season.
Liana Leota will also offer additional consultancy support in the attacking areas of the team.
Blackpool Senior Head Coach Towell is a former Thunder NPL coach and specialises in defence.
She has also worked with Greig in the England Netball regional programme as her assistant.
Greig said: “Gabby is a defensive specialist who is thorough in her approach and has great knowledge and understanding of the game. I like to work with coaches who challenge me and I can bounce ideas off and I trust that Gabby is the coach to do this with this season. Gabby knows what being a part of Thunder is all about having successfully worked with out NPL squads in previous years and its great to have her back in the Black and Yellow.”
Greig, referring to Hale’s reduced role at Thunder. said: “We will still of course be working with Sara Hale who has been a great coach for Thunder over the past three seasons, but on a consultancy basis throughout the season and I look forward to having her in the fold later in the year.”
Speaking of her appointment, Towell says she is ‘delighted’ to be working alongside Greig.
“After a couple of years break due to work commitments it’s great to be back in black and yellow and I feel incredibly privileged to have the opportunity to support Karen and be part of the NSL coaching team, she said”.
“I’m excited for the challenge ahead and I’m looking forward to working with Karen again after several years as her assistant coach in the Regional Performance Academy.
“It’s great to see a number of talented athletes from my time coaching NPL progressing through to NSL, the squad is a great blend of experience and youth and it’s exciting times for Thunder. “