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Nat stays at Swifts

Natalie Haythornthwaite has been confirmed as another part of NSW Swifts 2021 squad.

Australian sharpshooter Sophie Garbin and English Commonwealth Gold Medal winner Natalie Haythornthwaite are the latest players to recommit to the NSW Swifts for the 2021 Suncorp Super Netball season.

Both Premierships winners with the club in 2019, the pair’s signing comes one day after the Swifts announced the return of fellow attackers Sam Wallace and Helen Housby.

The Swifts have now revealed eight of their roster for next season, previously announcing Sarah Klau, Maddy Turner, Paige Hadley, Maddy Proud, Sam Wallace and Helen Housby.

Garbin, who made an MVP debut for the club in 2018, is currently in Queensland with the Australian Diamonds squad having been named in the senior international squad for 2020/21.

The 23-year-old has made a big impression on the Swifts since joining and previously represented Australia in the Fast5 World Series.

Haythornthwaite, who last year captained England in their Test Series against South Africa, has become a stalwart of the club over the past three years.

Initially signed as a replacement player in 2018, she overcame an injury-interrupted 2019 campaign to produce one of the standout performances in the Swifts’ Grand Final success over the Sunshine Coast Lightning.

Head coach Briony Akle said both players were proven winners and key to the Swifts’ plans to bring the Super Netball title back to NSW, having missed out on successive Premierships in 2020.

“Depth is of huge importance when you are looking to win a championship and both Sophie and Nat have demonstrated how important they are over the past number of years,” she said.

“Sophie came into the Swifts environment as a rookie and is now in the Australian Diamonds squad. That is a testament to her efforts and that of those around her.

“She will come back from the Australian camp an even better player and eager to show that on court, which is something that makes me really excited.

“Natalie arrived at the Swifts as a Commonwealth Gold Medal winner and went on add a Premiership with us the following year.

“That shows the calibre of player she is, but she is also one of the most diligent, humble and hard-working people we have at the club.

“Both have the hunger and drive to succeed and add to the legacy of the club.

“We can’t wait to welcome them back for what will be another big pre-season going into next year.”

Due to the current Super Netball Collective Bargaining Agreement coming to an end in 2021 competition clubs are not permitted to sign players beyond next season.