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Thunder welcome Potgieter for 2023

South African Superstar Lenize Potgieter swaps Australian SSN Side Adelaide Thunderbirds for Manchester Thunder

Manchester Thunder has secured South African netball super shooter Lenize Potgieter for the 2023 season. With Thunder remaining undefeated for all 22 games, lifting the 2022 Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) trophy, and smashing records by scoring 88 goals, it was no wonder they drew the attention of professional netball clubs in New Zealand and Australia.

Losing key shooters Joyce Mvula to Pulse (ANZ) and Eleanor Cardwell to Adelaide Thunderbirds, it was vital that the black and yellows recruited well and achieved this with the South African Proteas player. Potgieter, who plays in Goal Shooter and occasionally Goal Attack, has moved in what you could call a straight swap with Cardwell.

She was last playing in the UK in 2016 for Team Bath, before being snapped up by ANZ Premiership side Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic before moving to Southern Steel ahead of the 2019 season. At the end of the 2019 season, Potgieter was signed by Australian Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) side Queensland Firebirds as an injury replacement for the rest of the Australian domestic season. Impressing in SSN Potgieter signed with the Adelaide Thunderbirds, who have consecutively finished in seventh place.

Lenize Potgieter said, “Playing in the SSN league against the top defenders in the World has really improved my netball performance as well as taught me lessons along the way.”

“The things I’ve heard and seen from the Manchester Thunder franchise is incredible. I’m really excited to be playing alongside some great netballers, getting to know the fans, and also return to normal, traditional netball.”

In 2020, the SSN announced the introduction of a two-goal Super Shot providing the opportunity for a team to score two goals by shooting from a 1.9 metre designated zone within the goal circle that is active for the final five minutes of each quarter. The Super Shot is seen by some netballers as quite a controversial rule change to the traditional game of netball, and it has not yet been introduced into the UK Vitality Netball Superleague.

Potgieter concluded, “I think what I bring to the team is my unorthodox style of play, and also my quick shooting action. I’m really looking forward to putting the black and yellow dress on for the 2023 season.”

Karen Greig, Head Coach and Director of Netball for Manchester Thunder, said, “I am so happy to have secured Lenize for this upcoming season. She has a proven track record at both international and domestic levels. She is a passionate athlete that is always pushing for success. I am really looking forward to working with her. Lenize has an unconventional style of play, so I’m excited to add a different element to our game. Welcome to Manchester Lenize.”

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