Pulse beating strong for 2023 season

THOUGH seemingly flying under the radar with just the two changes for their 2023 Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) season, London Pulse certainly packed a punch with their recruits. Identifying the midcourt as an area needing a boost, the Pulse, who finished third on the table last season, picked up two of the most experienced midcourters in England.

The Pulse recruited Commonwealth Gold Medal Roses in Jade Clarke and Chelsea Pitman to help guide a young squad in season 2023, as the Pulse eye off a maiden title having come into the league in 2019. Clarke crossed over from Leeds Rhinos, with the soon-to-be 39-year-old representing the Roses more than any other player across a massive five Netball World Cups and four Commonwealth games. Remarkably still a member of the Roses squad such is her talent, Clarke has aged like a fine wine, and will bring up 200 England caps next year.

Clarke’s VNSL journey has been just as impressive, playing more than two decades in the league, including winning back-to-back titles with Wasps Netball. Following that, she teamed up with incoming expansion side Leeds Rhinos prior to their inaugural campaign. Clarke has also spent time in both New Zealand for the ANZ Premiership – with the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, Northern Mystics and Mainland Tactix – and in Australia where she played for both the NSW Swifts and Adelaide Thunderbirds. She has also played for the Loughborough Lightning – where she started her top flight domestic netball career in 2005, as well as Northern Thunder for a season.

Pitman is 34 years-old and has the rare experience of representing not only the Roses, but also the Diamonds. Like Clarke, the attacking midcourter has tasted netball in both New Zealand and Australia, with the Australian-born Pitman going through the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). She signed with Canterbury Tactix in the ANZ Championship in 2010, but suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury that year. She moved back across the ditch to play with Queensland Firebirds and West Coast Fever, before heading to England to play with Manchester Thunder for a season.

A year later she was back in Aotearoa with the Central Pulse, before having an extended stint with the Thunderbirds in the Super Netball for a few years, and being a West Coast Fever training partner last season. Recently Pitman moved back to England where she was a training partner for the Roses at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Earlier this month, it was confirmed the predominant wing attack would play with the Pulse for the 2023 VNSL season.

The inclusion of both Clarke and Pitman strengthens the midcourt significantly, with Clarke likely to start centre but also rotate into wing defence, while Pitman will lock down wing attack, but has the potential to also go into centre, and has proven herself as a supporting goal attack. With the Pulse having a couple of breakout stars up opposite ends of the court in Olivia Tchine and Funmi Fadoju, the support in that midcourt will provide extra leadership and composure for the younger five players. The two outs were Jayda Pechova (Team Bath) and Tayla Honey (returning to Australia for studies), with the Pulse re-signing the remaining 10 members of the 2022 VNSL season squad.

London Pulse head coach and Chief Executive Officer Sam Bird said to the Pulse website that the club was determined to make it to the final match of the 2023 VNSL season.

“Last year was a breakout season for our club making the Top 4 playoffs,” Bird said. “However, the pain of not making the final, means that this year we are working to win the NSL championship. It’s clear from our player roster that we have the quality and strength in depth to be viewed as serious contenders to do that.”


  • Halimat Adio
  • Jade Clarke
  • Ashleigh Dekker
  • Zara Everitt
  • Funmi Fadoju
  • Lindsay Keable
  • Sacha McDonald
  • Berri Neil
  • Chelsea Pitman
  • Ellie Rattu
  • Alicia Scholes
  • Olivia Tchine

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