2023 NSL Season Preview: Manchester Thunder
THE 2023 Netball Super League (NSL) season is just around the corner, and clubs and fans alike are gearing up for another exciting season.
After an eventful off season the 10 NSL clubs are ready to go for another year, and to prepare for the season we here at Rookie Me Central are going to go around the league and take a look at where each of the clubs sit ahead of the new season.
In our final team preview, we are off to the north west of England to check in with the Manchester Thunder.
Last season could not have gone much better for those in yellow.
After going through the season undefeated, they reached the NSL pinnacle by winning their fourth title to become the second most successful NSL franchise in history.
However, with that win comes the challenge of being the team to beat and having the entire competition chasing you, and the associated pressure that comes with that.
What adds to the pressure for the Thunder this time around is that they have also had plenty of changes this offseason, so it is a much different looking Thunder side taking the court this season for the title defence.
The Thunder will once again be led by Roses skipper Nat Metcalf, but plenty of experienced faces have left the club in the offseason.
Caroline O’Hanlon and Millie Sanders have headed off to Leeds, and Emma Rayner has also left the club, while a number of stars have also gone overseas. Eleanor Cardwell has shipped to Australia to join the Adelaide Thunderbirds, while Joyce Mvula and Laura Malcolm have headed to New Zealand and joined the Central Pulse and Tactix respectively.
In their place a number of players from across the NSL and the world have come to have a slice of the Manchester success pie.
Arguably the biggest of those games is South African star Lenize Potgieter, who has come to Manchester for a fresh start.
Four new faces have arrived from rival NSL clubs. Ella Bowen has headed north from Loughborough, Taylor McKevitt has come down from the Sirens, Iona Christian joins from the Wasps, and Amy Clinton has moved from Leeds.
Amy Carter is also back, after being ruled out of the 2022 season with an ACL injury.
Manchester Thunder Squad 2023
Kerry Almond, Elia McCormick, Ella Bowen, Shadine van der Merwe, Taylor McKevitt, Yasmin Roebuck, Amy Carter, Iona Christian, Nat Metcalf, Lois Pearson, Amy Clinton, Lenize Potgeiter