Vitality Netball Superleague: Shadine van der Merwe joins Manchester Thunder | Netball News

The South Africa international’s arrival follows that of England international Natalie Haythornthwaite; the 28-year-old defender will also be swapping Suncorp Super Netball for the Vitality Netball Superleague

Last Updated: 23/09/21 11:40am

Shadine van der Merwe brings further international experience to Manchester Thunder's roster

Shadine van der Merwe brings further international experience to Manchester Thunder’s roster

Shadine van der Merwe is the second high-profile international to join Manchester Thunder for the 2022 Vitality Netball Superleague season.

The South Africa international’s arrival follows that of England international Natalie Haythornthwaite and like her new team-mate, Van der Merwe is crossing the globe and swapping Suncorp Super Netball for the Vitality Netball Superleague.

The 28-year-old, who will run out for Thunder at both WD and GD, has spent the last three years playing for Adelaide Thunderbirds. Prior to that, she enjoyed an exceptionally successful season in England with Surrey Storm which launched her domestic netball career.

“I’m looking forward to join Manchester Thunder as I’ve heard from so many players that has family unity, and that’s a strong value for me,” she said.

“I can’t wait to work with great coaches too and with Tracey [Neville] as my defensive coach.

“I’ve usually only ever seen her on the sidelines when I’ve played against England Roses, but I’m looking forward to learning a lot from her on her defensive structure, and I know she will add a lot to my defensive style and skillset.”

Neville is equally excited to be working with the South Africa international on a daily basis.

“Shadine is an athlete that I have admired over the past few seasons with her performances for both Thunderbirds and South Africa,” Thunder’s performance operations director said.

“She is a super smart defender who can effectively offer us both wing defence and goal defence positions.

“The style of player that she is, I think will be a great fit for how we like to play the game at Thunder. I am looking forward to seeing what she can bring to the squad and working with her.”

Van der Merwe (L) is a fearless defender and will add greatly to Manchester Thunder's squad

Van der Merwe (L) is a fearless defender and will add greatly to Manchester Thunder’s squad

Born in Pretoria, Van der Merwe was part of the South Africa squad that finished in fifth place at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. The outfit also finished fourth at the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool, after losing out to England’s Vitality Roses in the bronze medal match.

Following her time playing domestic netball in Australia, Van der Merwe believes that coming back to England will be a positive move for her.

“It’s a very important journey for me in my netball career, especially going into the Commonwealth Games next year in Birmingham.

“Making the decision to come back to the Vitality Netball Superleague was to help myself build up confidence.

“It’s an amazing platform for any individual netball player to gain a lot of experience, especially for me, playing overseas to help myself improve and play against some amazing players.”

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