Hot shot shooter Eleanor Cardwell re-signs for Manchester Thunder for the next two seasons

Eleanor Cardwell Manchester Thunder

Eleanor Cardwell has cemented herself as a key player not only for Manchester Thunder but England Roses too, being one of just eight players to have been selected as a Vitality Rose every year following the programme’s inception, and is currently on her way back from New Zealand where the Roses produced a stunning comeback with Cardwell scoring the final goal to secure a historic, first-ever series to win against New Zealand.

However Cardwell has not always been a super shooter, as she explained:

“One training session one of our goal attacks went home, so Tracey Neville [MBE] asked me to sit in as a goal attack for the session. They [her teammates] were all laughing and joking saying, ‘Eleanor, you’re our next goal-attack, goal-shooter’ and I was like ‘nah it’s not happening.’

“The next morning I got a phone call off Tracey. I thought I was in loads of trouble because you never get a phone call off Tracey. It was half seven in the morning and I was like, ‘Hello… are you alright?’ And she said ‘I think you can be the next best shooter. If you want to make it in netball, I think this is what you can do’. From there that’s where my career changed and I became a shooter. I was no longer allowed to pick up the Goal Keeper or Goal Defence bib!”

When asked about how the Manchester Thunder squad is shaping up for the 2022 season, Cardwell said:

“I was super excited when I found out about the latest two new signings to be announced [Natalie Haythornthwaite and Shadine van der Merwe] and I was jumping up and down on my bed in excitement for this season. Last season, we did really well as a team, and I think these two new signings are just going to excel us at training. I think training will be super hard and competitive, and that’s exactly what we need.”

“We now have so many options with the squad. The fact that me and Nat can hopefully build that connection in Wing Attack and Goal Attack, and then maybe switching it if I drop in to Goal Shooter and Nat at Goal Attack and having that connection in the circle, which I’ve loved playing with her in the past in those positions.”

“I can’t wait to have fans back at the games next season too. When you come to a home game at Manchester Thunder the atmosphere and family feel of what Thunder bring is extraordinary. I remember my time away and then coming back in to Manchester Thunder, and that first game I played back I was like ‘wow’ this is what I’ve missed, this is why you would want to play for Thunder because the crowd is ridiculous. So anyone thinking of coming to a game next season, just come to a game because you will have the time of your lives and you’ll be addicted and to want to come all of the time.”

Karen Greig, Manchester Thunder Head Coach, said:

“I’m super happy to have Eleanor back with the yellow and black this season. Her growth last year was fantastic and she developed her game so much and can now offer us two positions in our attack end. She is fearless on her shot which makes it hard for other teams to shut her down. Eleanor is keen to keep pushing forward and improve her game whilst developing her leadership skills off the court. She is a key member to this squad which will see her link up nicely with our roses connection with Nat [Haythornthwaite] and Laura [Malcolm.] I am excited to see how our front line fires this upcoming season.”