News


England Netball announces the end of the 2020 Superleague season

The 2020 Vitality Netball Superleague season has been terminated with immediate effect by England Netball following the suspension in March due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The decision was taken after weeks of discussion of options and scenarios by the Superleague Board and was subsequently ratified by the sport’s governing body. It is not the outcome Manchester Thunder, the reigning champions, were hoping for however we understand and accept the decision which was based on the welfare and safety of players, staff, match officials, volunteers and supporters. Managing Director Debbie Hallas said: “No-one wanted this season to end, especially as it had only just begun. But the uncertainty of these unparalleled times has led us, regretfully, to this situation. “As a franchise, we are firmly committed to ensuring that the recent momentum, increased profile and positive exposure that both the sport and the franchise has earned since the Commonwealth Games 2018, Vitality Netball ... More

Latest update – 27 April 2020

Please find below the latest update from the Vitality Netball Superleague on the 2020 season: Further to the statement issued on 17 March, which announced our decision to suspend all Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) activity until at least 30 April 2020, all VNSL Clubs and Board members have convened again to further discuss and review the position of the 2020 season. A collective decision was made to extend the postponement of all fixtures, league activity and pathway delivery until at least 31 May 2020. A further meeting will be held in mid-May to review the position of the league as we are aware that the Coronavirus outbreak is a rapidly changing and fluid situation. We remain committed to returning to the court but only when it is safe to do so as the health and wellbeing of our fans, volunteers, players, staff, officials and all of the Netball Family is of the upmost importance to us. We will continue to follow Government guidance closely, whilst resuming convers... More

An important update from Manchester Thunder

I hope you, your family and friends are staying safe and well during these unprecedented times. I wanted to write today to update you on what we're doing at Thunder to secure the future of our franchise amid the Coronavirus crisis. From Friday 27 March, all 17 players and coaching staff employed by the franchise were furloughed through the government scheme to support businesses through the current unprecedented period. This will ensure the business can continue to keep its on and off court team together and, once the restrictions on social distancing are lifted, resume our work. For the franchise as a business, it means 80 per cent of our salary bill will be paid by the government. We have though committed to top up the remaining 20 per cent so our players and coaches continue to receive what they usually would. We want to ensure we do everything we can to ensure that Manchester Thunder has a strong future once the national emergency measures are lifted and life, for us ... More

Message from Emma Dovey for the #ThunderFamily

Dear Thunder Family Usually I would be writing for our matchday programme about how much we're looking forward to the weekend's game and having you cheer us on at Belle Vue. But not this week - and probably not for some time. So I wanted to write this email to you, to all our Thunder Family, to let you know that through these difficult and strange times, we're standing with you, as a team we're here to support you and you're never on your own. No-one really knows what's going to happen over the next few weeks and I know that for many of you that's scary. But we'll get through it together. Things will get back to normal. We'll get back to playing in front of you again at Belle Vue, we hope we'll get to continue our unbeaten start to the season and we know you'll be there to support us all the way. But, until then, there are more important things and it's right we take a break from netball to focus on those. So, please make sure you're following the simple things ... More

Coronavirus Update – Important News

Dear Thunder Family, You will be aware that the Vitality Netball Superleague Board announced the postponement of all fixtures on Sunday. Today, a further meeting was held and it has been decided the suspension of the league will last until 30 April when the latest situation will be assessed. You can read the full statement on the Superleague website >> Given this announcement, and the decision from England Netball to also advise that all organised netball activities be suspended, we wanted to update you on our position: Superleague Matches Clearly, the decision means our next fixtures will not take place as planned. Ticket sales have been suspended and please do not travel to Belle Vue if you have tickets. Tickets purchased for games that have been postponed will be valid for the rearranged fixtures.  When that new date is confirmed, if you cannot attend you will be asked to return your tickets and will receive a full refund - your ticket issuer will ... More

Fixtures Suspended – An Important Update

Dear Thunder Family, This lunchtime, the Vitality Netball Superleague Board announced the postponement of future Vitality Netball Superleague fixtures with immediate effect.  In a statement, they say: "Further to the statement issued on Friday 13th March, the Vitality Netball Superleague Board have continued to monitor the outbreak and growing concerns around the rapid spread of COVID-19. The Board has taken the decision to postpone Vitality Netball Superleague fixtures with immediate effect. The Board and all Vitality Netball Superleague clubs will convene again on Tuesday 17th March where the position of the 2020 season, in light of an anticipated update on guidance from the Government, will be considered. A full statement will be issued later next week. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep the Netball Family updated as appropriate." We have received no further details other than the above announcement - as soon as we do, we will communicate them to ... More

Report: Four from four as Thunder stifle Storm

Manchester Thunder continued their unbeaten start to the Vitality Netball Superleague season with an 18-point victory over Surrey Storm. Round 4, at Surrey Sports Park, saw the 2019 Champions extend their run of victories to five. by 60 points to 42, on a day when little other sport was taking place across the country with the Coronavirus shutdown taking hold. The game started goal for goal as the teams worked each other out. Under immense physical pressure Joyce Mvula and Eleanor Cardwell stood strong as they helped build a six goal lead by the first break – 10-16. The Thunder defence of Emma Dovey and Lauren Ngwira were clearly assigned to put pressure on 6ft 4 shooter Karyn Bailey but Storm goal attack Sophie Hankin stepped up and was having success from distance. Recognised, this was snuffed out and Hankin was subsequently replaced by Ellie Kelk. At the other end it was like watching WWE wrestling at times with a physical battle and big hits between Mvula, ... More

New faces for new opportunities as Thunder strengthen off court team

We’re excited to be able to announce two new faces to Manchester Thunder’s off court team which show our determination to grow and develop in the months and years ahead. Joining Debbie Hallas, as our Managing Director, and David Jennings on the Manchester Thunder Board will be Gary Young and Caroline Rogers. Gary joins as a Non-Executive Director responsible for strategic development. He brings with him a wealth of commercial, business development and digital transformation expertise and will support the team’s ambitious growth strategy. Caroline becomes our new Franchise Director responsible for the day-to-day operations of Thunder. In addition, she will work closely with the Board to grow the commercial side of the business, bringing in more investment to the franchise and exploring opportunities. She has an impressive and extensive range of experience in operational delivery of world class sporting events, having previously worked for the ICC Cricket World ... More

On court leadership team confirmed for Superleague 2020

We’re excited to be able to name our on court leadership team for the Vitality Netball Superleague 2020. As the Thunder team return to training with just weeks until the new season begins, Head Coach Karen Greig has chosen three players who will be pivotal to the title defence. Emma Dovey will continue as Captain with Kathryn Turner named as Co-Vice Captain once again. The retirement of Kerry Almond means a new face was needed for the leadership group, and the coaching team and Emma have decided to appoint Laura Malcolm to be alongside Kathryn as Co-Vice Captain. Karen Greig said: “Emma has proved to be as effective a leader as she is a player over the past few years and I’m delighted she is continuing as Captain. A Head Coach needs a Captain on court they can trust and in Emma I definitely have that. “Kathryn is a stalwart for us in attack and provides strong leadership backing up Emma and supporting every single player. She deserves her continued role ... More

First Roses Cap for Amy Carter

Congratulations to Amy Carter who made her Vitality Roses debut last night in the Netball Nations Cup. She was one of the trio of Thunder players in Jess Thirlby's side alongside Laura Malcolm and Eleanor Cardwell. Thunder Head Coach Karen Greig said: “Having three Manchester Thunder players take to the court for the Vitality Roses was a proud moment for us all with Laura, Eleanor and Amy performing brilliantly for their country. “I’m particularly thrilled for Amy winning her first cap. I have seen few other players with the commitment and determination she has so she more than deserves this opportunity.”         More