Vixens and Swifts announce training partners as Lightning top up existing trio

SINCE our first 2022 Suncorp Super Netball training partner update last week, two more clubs have announced their training newcomers while a third has added a couple of fresh faces to their previously confirmed returnees. We run through the latest training partner additions to the three SSN clubs; Melbourne Vixens, NSW Swifts and Sunshine Coast Lightning.

READ>> First crop of 2022 training partners announced


The Melbourne Vixens have announced four training partners to join the squad for 2022, with a couple of returnees to the training partner program as two newcomers join the fray. One will step up as an injury replacement for goal attack Kiera Austin, who is currently completing rehabilitation on her torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) with a couple of strong prospects looking to showcase their form after a couple of interrupted years and two more yet to be announced.

  • Ruby Barkmeyer – Injury replacement for Austin, returning to a training partner role after being elevated to the squad in 2021. A smooth mover capable from range in the goal circle.
  • Jordan Cransberg – Joins the Vixens for a third year. A classy and speedy midcourter, boasting great smarts and quick footwork to match.
  • Sharni Lambden – A former Magpies training partner, boasting versatility to move between the midcourt and defence units with ease.
  • Emily Andrew -A young goaling prospect named in the Australian U19 squad this year. A smooth operator with great footwork, accuracy and strong holds to boot.

Vixens Performance and Pathways General Manager Rebekah Webster said:

“We are excited to have this talented group of young athletes sign on with the Vixens for the 2022 season. We have seen what Ruby is capable of throughout this year and we’re committed to her continued development as an elite athlete.

“We have a couple of new faces stepping up into the Vixens program next year and we are eager to see what they can produce, keeping in mind a lot of these athletes have had limited netball over the past two years due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“These athletes have shown nothing but dedication and persistence to put their netball first and we can’t wait to get started.”


The reigning SSN premiers have announced six newcomers to their training partner program, with all having represented NSW at underage level and coming up through the Swifts Academy pathway introduced in 2019. The six players range from metro to regional NSW locations, with their individual progression through the state’s pathways over the years earning them selection to the main group.

  • Chelsea Mann – A defensive-minded midcourt prospect with great footwork and speed to impact on the play in both wing defence and centre.
  • Laura Towell – A mature prospect who can play both goaling positions, with a good mid-size height enabling her to play a crafty moving role in the circle.
  • Dakota Thomas – A versatile defender, able to rotate between goal defence and wing defence with great anticipation and a good mid-range height to cover both positions.
  • Sophie Fawns – A young developing goaler, boasting great smarts and accuracy despite her young age. A late 2003 birth, so has plenty of time to hone her craft.
  • Lili Gorman-Brown – A smooth moving midcourt talent with plenty of adaptability to rotate through all three centre court positions.
  • Audrey Little – Another 17-year-old alongside Fawns, adding speed and exciting potential through the wing attack and centre positions.

Swifts head coach Briony Akle said:

“It is really special to see how these players have progressed from NSW State Teams into the Academy and now they will be a vital part of our aim to win back-to-back titles for the first time in almost 15 years.

“It was a rigorous selection process and there were some tight calls but it is good to have to those tough decisions to make as it means the program is working.

“I know these players have the right aptitude and attitude to be in our environment and their efforts to this point are a testament to them, and those who have assisted them along their respective journeys to this point.

“I can’t wait to see the likes of Chelsea, Lili and Audrey learn from Paige Hadley and Maddy Proud, and Sophie and Laura won’t get a better netball education than training alongside Sam Wallace and Helen Housby daily. And who better to teach Dakota than the Diamonds pairing of Sarah Klau and Maddy Turner.”


The Sunshine Coast Lightning have added three brand new faces to their training partner program, adding to the established trio of Ash Unie, Annie Lawrie and Maddie Hinchliffe. With the key focus to cover multiple areas of the netball court, the Lightning have added some versatile types to their already crafty and adaptable squad.

  • Jada Gafa – A classy attacking midcourter, with natural instinct and a great ability to find space. Also boasts pinpoint feedings skills.
  • Ava Black – An athletic midcourter who has adapted her skillset in recent months and proved capable of covering all three midcourt roles.
  • Bridey Condren – An exciting developing defender with plenty of tenacity. Had a taste of SSN in 2020 with West Coast Fever as an injury replacement.

Lightning head coach Kylee Byrne said:

“This year it was important to have strong cover across all areas of the court for our Training Partner positions.

“We also identified the need to build a robust core group underneath that will hopefully wear the Lightning dress in the future.

“In the end this experience is about exposing this talented group of athletes to a daily training environment and challenging and educating them on what a Suncorp Super Netballer does and how they prepare.

“Our aim is to close the gap underneath in this very important training group and see who is going to put their hand up for future opportunities.”

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments