Metcalf in Thunder return
England Roses Netball Captain Natalie Metcalf Re-Signs for 2022 Superleague Champions Manchester Thunder
England Roses captain, Natalie Metcalf has put pen to paper to re-sign for Manchester Thunder after starring in an incredible championship winning season on her return to the black and yellows.
Metcalf is the final player to be announced as part of Thunder’s 2023 squad and completes a squad with an exciting mix of youth and experience. As a key feeder, all eyes will be on Metcalf and top class South African shooter Lenize Potgieter to see how their relationship on court evolves, and with experienced defenders Shadine van der Merwe and Kerry Almond shoring it up at the back, Manchester Thunder will be a force to be reckoned with despite losing several high-profile players.
Combining the return of Amy Carter from injury and the signing of Taylor McKevitt, one of the best young wing defenders in the business, the spine of the Thunder team looks stirringly strong for 2023.
Metcalf started her netball career with the Yorkshire Jets, before playing a season for Manchester Thunder and two seasons for Wasps Netball, where she won two consecutive VNSL league titles. Midway through the Australian 2018 season, she was invited to come into the Australian Super Netball league team, New South Wales Swifts, as a permanent replacement player for the injured Claire O’Brien. During her time at Swift’s, Metcalf played 37 games for the club and won two Premiership champion titles. In 2021, she decided to return home to the UK and join her former side Manchester Thunder in the Vitality Netball Superleague.
Last year was an exceptional season for Manchester Thunder, which ended with Manchester Thunder being undefeated for all 22 games and lifting the 2022 VNSL trophy. Thunder’s shooters also smashed records by scoring 88 goals against Wasps Netball, an average of a goal every 40 seconds. Metcalf, who can play in wing attack and goal-attack positions, played in 21 games, and was an influential player within the first team squad, making 386 feeds and scoring 59 goals.
Metcalf is also a key member of the England Roses international setup, a gold medal winner in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Metcalf was promoted to captain the England Roses for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Natalie Metcalf said, “I’m really excited to be back with Thunder for the 2023 season. Last year was an awesome season for us, and it was amazing to be back in the UK and playing in the Superleague in front of friends, family and of course the Thunder netball fans. It’s going to be great to welcome some new additions to the Thunder netball family, and also welcome home some of our Thunder pathway netball girls.”
Karen Greig, Head Coach and Director of Netball for Manchester Thunder, said, “To re-secure Nat’s signature was a key part of the puzzle for us this season and I am so happy to have her back! Her experience and leadership qualities will be crucial for us in our centre court and having the flexibility to cross over to goal attack will be exciting. Nat’s vision and ability to slice open the defence is a superpower for her and I’m really looking forward to see how she connects in with our new signing Lenize Potgieter.”
THANKS, THUNDER FOR THE “NO MESSING” APPROACH TO PLAYER ANNOUNCEMENTS!