2017 Vitality Netball Superleague preview: Manchester Thunder
The 2017 Vitality Netball Superleague promises to be bigger and better than ever with new players, new coaches and new teams!
Ten sides will battle it out to be crowned champions when the league gets underway on Friday 17th February.
Here Sports Gazette gives you the lowdown on Manchester Thunder.
Head Coach: Karen Greig. Assistant Coaches: Liana Leota and Sara Hale
Home Venue: Manchester Thunderdome
Squad: Kerry Almond, Danielle Bloomfield, Amy Clinton, Emma Dovey, Rebecca Hoult, Paige Kindred, Liana Leota, Gabriella Marshall, Sophie Morgan, Joyce Mvula, Beatrice Skingsley, Kathryn Turner
Manchester Thunder finished last season as runners-up and, despite a change in coach, will be aiming to finish in the top four.
Karen Greig knows exactly what it takes to win the competition having been at Thunder since 2002 – she captained the team to the 2011 title and has become a trusted member of the coaching staff.
Despite being one of the team’s – and the league’s – standout performers in 2016, Sara Bayman has departed for Pulse Netball. Thunder will have to compensate for this loss but can turn to the athletic and gritty England under-21 captain Gabriella Marshall, who is likely to get more game time.
Expect to see more of Amy Clinton too after she made her Superleague debut last year. Greig has worked with the shooter since she was 14 and believes the England under-21 player is “more than ready to step up and be a threat.”
First fixture: vs. Loughborough Lightning (A, Saturday 18th February at 18:00)
Regular season winner odds: 4/1 (Sky Bet)