1 February, 2024

Thunder announce netball signings

The Southern Mallee Thunder have started to announce their netball recruits for season 2024.

By Chris Graetz

Rylee Cocks in action against Laharum.
Rylee Cocks in action against Laharum.

Jaimee O'Reilly returns after playing for the Giants since 2022. She is also coaching the C Grade side. Mackenzie Bellinger is also returning from the Giants.

Jaida Baldwin-Monk is another Giant who is keen to stay. The defender was the joint runner-up in the best and fairest for the Giants B Grade side last year.

Alongside returning players come recruits, some of whom will be familiar to the former Storm side of the club.

Gabbi Rule has moved over from Birchip-Watchem in the NCNL and Connie Rule has signed and is a defender but is versatile and can play any position on the wing.

Caitlin Douglas will be traveling from Adelaide every week to play for the Thunder. Douglas is a two-time premiership player and can play at both ends of the court as a GD or GA.

Alongside familiar faces come new faces highlighted by Sydney Thorogood.

Thorogood joins the club from Nhill in a big coup for the Thunder. She can play both ends, either as a GK or GS.

Jade Cranage has also signed and will provide flair on the wing. She is looking getting to back into netball having not played for a few years.

With the A-Grade being coached by Jodie Hayes, a Heather Hatcher Medalist and Steph Thomson, a premiership player and 2023 WFNL goal attack of the year, the Thunder are ready to roar on the Netball court in 2024.

Thunder netball director, Rylee Cocks said they are very excited to have more depth to draw from.

"They had a challenging 2023 for the Giants struggling to field senior teams at times and it's going to be great for them to draw from the talent we have," she said.

"We are aiming to put four sides on the park in the seniors which most teams haven't been able to do.

"On top of that, we are also excited about having the juniors having more depth, which was one of the main driving forces for the amalgamation to have the junior football and netballers having a competitive environment to develop in."

What is impressive in the short amount of time is the number of players that want to join the exciting new chapter. Cocks said it's exciting.

"At first we were struggling as it was a little bit challenging to get people on board with the amalgamation," she said.

"Now that everyone is on board it has been great to see all these people come over to the Thunder and give it a real good crack. It's very exciting for the club."


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