Celtic Dragons confirm 2023 VNSL squad
ONLY the second team in the Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) to do so, Celtic Dragons have confirmed their 15-player squad for next year’s VNSL season. Comprised of 12 registered players and three training partners, the Dragons recruited former Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) shooter Gabrielle Sinclair in a huge coup for the club.
The Welsh outfit will look to rise up the VNSL ladder in 2023, and were able to bring in Sinclair after the former Collingwood goal attack was not offered a contract for next SSN season. With Lefébre Rademan currently injured, Sinclair is predicted to slot into that goal attack bib to support shooter Georgia Rowe.
“I’ve heard great things about the league and the Welsh fans in particular! I am excited to meet the girls, help build the high-performance programme, work with Dannii (Danielle Titmuss) and the coaching team and get back to playing netball again,” Sinclair told the Celtic Dragons website.
Rowe will look to form a new partnership with Sinclair in the goal circle, after a huge 2022 season that saw her feature in the league top 10 shooters with a 92 per cent goal accuracy.
“I am super excited to be returning to Dragons this year,” Rowe said. “I felt we made such huge improvements as a squad last year, so I’m excited to continue that and really challenge and push every team. “I can’t wait to get some training done with the girls and do some damage.”
Celtic Dragons also picked up exciting youngster Zoe Matthewman who has come across from the Loughborough Lightning. Yet to make her VNSL debut, Matthewman is a talented young shooter who will learn plenty off the likes of Rowe, Sinclair, Phillipa Yarranton (training partner) and the returning Chelsea Beard.
“I’m beyond excited to have signed my first Superleague contract with Celtic Dragons,” Matthewman said. “I am super grateful, and I can’t wait to get training alongside the team and see what we can do.”
Alongside Sinclair and Matthewman as inclusions, the third Dragons recruit ahead of the 2023 VNSL season is ex-Wasp Ally Housley. She will team up alongside proven talents Shaquanda Greene-Noel, Annabel Roddy and Leila Thomas, and training partner, Millie Carter. Housley was previously coached by Titmuss at Wasps, and is a rising talent in England Roses’ pathway.
“Everyone is always excited for a new season, however, having the opportunity to be coached by Dannii again and to be a part of a new team brings more excitement than any year before,” she said. “There will be lots more challenges to come, but my last season in Australia has prepared me for how best to take them on.”
Greene-Noel took her game to another level at the Commonwealth Games, and will be crucial in defence, particularly given the departure of Welsh leader Nia Jones to Leeds Rhinos. The likes of Hannah Leighton, Laura Rudland, Shona O’Dwyer, Clare Jones and training partner Celyn Emanuel round out the Dragons’ VNSL squad for 2023.
2023 CELTIC DRAGONS VNSL SQUAD
Phillipa Yarranton (TP)
Celyn Emanuel (TP)
Millie Carter (TP)
TP = Training Partner