Fans Forum: 2023 NSL edition

Welcome to the Netball Fans Forum, a new series here at Rookie Me Central where we hear from netball fans themselves and see what they have to say about the domestic season that have recently come to a conclusion.

Today’s article is taking a look at the 2023 Netball Super League season, which was won by the Loughborough Lightning.

As they reflected on how they though the 2023 Super League season panned out, many fans came to a similar conclusion. They were happy with how it panned out, but could not help but notice the gap between the top four and the rest of the competition.

“Overall, I think it was good. There was a bit of a gap between top 4 and bottom 6, but different teams are at different stages in their squad development, so that’s normal,” Nik Warburton said.

When asked who they thought the MVP for the entire season was, several names were suggested. Stars coach Jo Trip, Dragon Shaquanda Greene-Noel, Thunder’s Taylor McKevitt, Pulse pair Funmi Fadoju and Berri Neil and Lightning pair Fran Williams and Natalie Panagarry were all among the suggestions.

However the three names that came up the most were Fadoju, Panagarry and Williams.

“Although maybe one of her quieter seasons, she still dominated the deflections stats. I think people forget how young she is still and she has so much more improvement to go. She was a menace on court for goal attacks. Her ability to get behind on a player and win ball for someone so young yet so much smaller than most shooters is astounding,” Lucy Roche said of Fadoju.

“She’s a true workhorse in the middle for Loughborough, especially following a tough year away from the court. She has been exceptional and consistent throughout and should get more recognition. Her attacking game has greatly improved and her defence has been incredible as always.” Phoebe Hemmings said of Panagarry.

“She is consistent and game changing game on game. Grew in dominance over the season. Took her play to another level with the return of Cobden in the last 3 games,” Emma B. said of Williams.

When it came to the MVP of the Grand Final though, it was a bit more succinct. Most fans named either Lightning skipper Panagarry or Lightning defender Williams. However, one fan, Izzy, did name Rhea Dixon because she worked through the challenges of the first quarter and really lifted her game to make the avenue to goal a lot easier for Lightning and one, Faith Florence, named Mary Cholhok because she adapted to everything the defence put her through.

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