Thunder welcome back Shadine
The South African International Superstar Is Welcomed Back to Manchester Thunder.
South African Shadine van der Merwe has shown her commitment to re-sign for Manchester Thunder for the 2023 season, hot off the back of her playing in the Commonwealth Games and the African Netball World Cup qualifiers.
Overcoming a knee injury at the start of the 2022 season, van der Merwe quickly became a key component of Manchester Thunder’s starting seven. The rock-solid defender played sixteen games in the Vitality Netball Superleague, with an impressive twenty-six interceptions throughout the season, helping her to be awarded player of the match on several occasions.
Versatile van der Merwe was a vital member of the squad for South Africa in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. After finishing third in their group stages, beating Wales, Scotland and Barbados. the Proteas side narrowly lost 48-54 to Uganda in the fifth-place play-off.
Impressing last week at the African Netball World Cup 2023 qualifiers in Pretoria, South Africa were crowned champions and van der Merwe picked up the defender of the tournament award. Uganda, Malawi and Zimbabwe also qualified.
Shadine van der Merwe said, “What I really loved about last season was the culture from [Manchester] Thunder and just being able to play alongside great players and being coached by great coaches. Manchester Thunder has the greatest fan base ever and I’m looking forward to being a part of this team again.”
Karen Greig, Head Coach and Director of Netball for Manchester Thunder, said, “What an athlete Shadine is. Both on and off court she is so professional and a really great person. I am so happy we were able to bring Shadine back for a second year as it’s like she has been a part of Manchester Thunder forever. Her understanding and application of the game is something that works so well for us, and her instant connection with Kerry [Almond] was fantastic and I am keen to see her build similar connections with the rest of our exciting defence unit. Welcome back Shadine.”
Van der Merwe joins South African team-mate Lenize Potgieter, who has recently been announced in Manchester Thunder’s 2023 squad. Potgieter, who also played at Australian Suncorp Super Netball side Adelaide Thunderbirds with van der Merwe, can play in both goal shooter and goal attack positions, making the two South African’s the perfect bookends in Manchester Thunder’s defensive and attacking circles”