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2021 Vitality Superleague: Laura Malcolm, Ellie Cardwell and Amy Carter return for Manchester Thunder | Netball News


Malawi shooter Joyce Mvula joins England trio Laura Malcolm, Amy Carter and Eleanor Cardwell in returning for another season as Manchester Thunder defend Vitality Superleague title they won in 2019 and were unable to defend in 2020

Last Updated: 30/10/20 12:32pm

Amy Carter has re-signed for Manchester Thunder alongside fellow England internationals Eleanor Cardwell and Laura Malcolm

Manchester Thunder have announced the return of three England Roses for the 2021 Superleague season with Laura Malcolm, Amy Carter and Eleanor Cardwell back in black and yellow.

All three players are currently on duty for England in New Zealand, and played in the narrow second Test defeat to New Zealand on Friday morning, just hours before their Manchester return was confirmed.

Malcolm and Cardwell enter the second year of their deals with Thunder, while talented young centre Carter signs on for a what will be her third season having been another graduate of Thunder’s impressive pathway programme.

After the 2020 campaign was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Thunder have been piecing together a squad with unfinished business on their hands having been unable to defend their title from 2019.

“I’m delighted to re-sign for my home team. We were so disappointed not to be able to see out the 2020 campaign which we had such high hopes for. So it is great to retain a good element of the squad to take it forward to the 2021 season.

“Our squad is full of quality in every department and ensures our training environment is highly competitive. We bring out the best in each other and can’t wait to get started on our new campaign once our Roses commitments come to an end.”

Amy Carter on returning for Manchester Thunder

Carter’s contract was up at the end of last season, so securing the talented mid-courter was a priority for Thunder, with head coach Karen Greig underlining her importance to the squad

“It’s frightening that Amy is now considered one of our senior players at just 22. The maturity she shows on court impresses me and enables different combinations on the court, whether she’s wing defence or centre she connects so well from defence right through the court.

“I’m looking forward to what she can produce this season as I do think she still has so much more to give.”

Thunder have been able to keep most of their 2019 Grand Final winning squad together with Carolina O’Hanlon, Emma Dovey and Rebekah Airey all on board and they have now been joined by the franchise’s England stars.

Cardwell was part of the England team beaten on Friday morning

Cardwell was part of the England team beaten on Friday morning

“It’s fantastic to have Eleanor back with us this season as she is a real key piece to our puzzle. After the role she played in the 2019 final, she really stepped up and showed what she was capable of and carried that through to the start of last season,” added Greig.

“The combination with Joyce Mvula really started to gel and cause problems for defensive units.

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Player of the match Laura Malcolm says England wanted to work for every single moment during their second Test against New Zealand as they fell to a 54-47 defeat

Player of the match Laura Malcolm says England wanted to work for every single moment during their second Test against New Zealand as they fell to a 54-47 defeat

“Over the last two years, Laura has really shown she means business. Her development as a player both on and off the court has really impressed me. It’s crucial to have an athlete that can be versatile and cover all three centre positions and do it so well.

“She has gained a lot of respect and this resulted in her being named as the Roses co-captain alongside Serena Guthrie.”

Shooting star Mvula back for Thunder

Manchester Thunder also used deadline day to confirm the return of shooter Joyce Mvula for a fourth full season.

Joyce Mvula is also back as Thunder set their sights on the Superleague title

Joyce Mvula is also back as Thunder set their sights on the Superleague title

The Malawi international has proved to be a key part of the Thunder shooting circle, whether it is linking with Kathryn Turner or Cardwell and she will be back to lead the franchise’s bid for title glory.

“I can’t wait to be back – we have unfinished business,” said Mvula.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to represent Manchester Thunder in the Vitality Netball Superleague once again. After the elation of becoming champions for the first time in 2019, it was disappointing not to defend our title this year.

“We will be back stronger for 2021 and I can’t wait to be back on court with my team-mates and hopefully for all our fans to see. I would like to thank all of our fans who have bought memberships to support our club through these times and also to our sponsors who without their support, we wouldn’t be here.”

Berri Neil, Lois Pearson, Caroline O’Hanlon, Emma Dovey, Rebekah Airey, Eleanor Cardwell, Laura Malcolm, Amy Carter, Joyce Mvula

With the squad almost complete Greig was quick to sing the praises of the 26-year-old.

“Her game has developed so much she is now also able to offer us a moving shooter as well as her obvious power and accuracy under the post,” she said.

“As someone still so young, I do see Joyce as a senior member of our squad and her experience both in Superleague and internationally will really help our new young guns Lois [Pearson] and Berri [Neal] break into the Superleague with confidence.”

Live netball continues this Sunday on Sky Sports with coverage of the Vitality Roses and the Silver Ferns in the third and final Test. Join us from 6am on Sky Sports Main Event and Mix.





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Remon Buul

Chairman of the board of directors responsible for organizing and developing the general policy of the website and the electronic newspaper, he is interested in public affairs and in monitoring the latest international developments.

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