Manchester Thunder’s force of nature and Northern Ireland captain Caroline O’Hanlon has re-signed for a fourth season with the club and will continue to demonstrate her quest for continual improvement and appetite for success in the reigning champion’s squad.
O’Hanlon, 36, has enjoyed a long and successful international netball reaching back as far as 2002 when she competed for Northern Ireland in her first Netball World Cup. She then went on to compete in the same events in 2011 and again in 2019 where she captained the team. She has also competed in the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games and was a member of the Northern Ireland teams that were silver medallists at the 2012 and 2017 European Netball Championships.
O’Hanlon, who also plays Gaelic Football for Carrickcruppen and Armagh, joined Manchester Thunder in 2017 and has consistently displayed an outstanding level dedication and determination. She also played a pivotal role in her second season with the club when they went to clinch their first Superleague title since 2014.
Caroline is renowned for her physicality and athleticism which has become of increasing importance over recent years as these elements of the game have become more prominent over recent years.
O’Hanlon says about her return to Thunder, “2020 has been a really difficult time for the whole community and I have really missed playing netball but as we begin to get back on court cautiously, I am really looking forward to seeing what this Manchester Thunder group can achieve. We’ve got some really exciting young talent coming into the squad and we promise that we’ll work as hard as we can to ensure that we defend our Superleague title”.
Manchester Thunder Head Coach and Director of Netball Karen said about O’Hanlon “I am so happy to have Caroline back on board. She has been an integral part of our squad over the past three years and is a strong and powerful centre who has dominated in our centre court and created great partnerships with those around her. With our new young signings, it is important to have experience around them to help them flourish and with Caroline well and truly embedded into our Thunder Way she will certainly provide that. Her game over the last three seasons has developed especially in her defensive efforts, I am excited to see what she will bring this season as she is more determined than ever!
Caroline has a formidable mindset that accounts for her longevity in the sport and she represents a figure for any aspiring sportswoman to emulate. In every training session and every match, she strives to be better than the last and her desire to win the Superleague in the Black and Yellow dress is brilliant to see”.