The Adelaide Thunderbirds have signed New Zealand international Leana de Bruin and Kate Shimmin for the 2018 Suncorp Super Netball season.
De Bruin is the second Silver Fern, behind Laura Langman, to sign in Suncorp Super Netball, the 40-year-old retiring from international duties at the end of 2016 with 138 Test Caps (104 New Zealand, 34 South Africa).
Shimmin will return to her home of South Australia and to the Thunderbirds, after a year with the Queensland Firebirds. Shimmin started her career at the Adelaide Thunderbirds as a teenager in 2011.
Head coach Dan Ryan is excited to be able to add the experienced de Bruin and local Kate Shimmin to his line-up for 2018.
“Leana is one of the best defenders in the world and I’ve always had incredible respect for the way she plays the game. Her experience and smarts, plus the ability to stand up and be a match winner, are attributes that are going to be so valuable for our team,” said Ryan.
“She will provide great leadership down back, as well as the perfect mentorship for rising stars Kate Shimmin and Fiona Themann. Having her sign with us is just sensational and I cannot wait to see the positive influence she is going to have on the club.
“It was really important for us to have some South Australian flavour in the team and Kate was right at the top of my wish list. I think the year away was the best thing for her but it is the right time for her to come home to the Thunderbirds and play a key role in our rebuild.
“She’s is a real ball winner and an absolute menace, so I’m looking forward to seeing what she can bring to our new-look defence line.”
They will be joined in the defence end by Fiona Themann, who enjoyed a break-out debut season at this level with the Adelaide Thunderbirds in 2017.
“Not only did Fiona have a brilliant debut season, it was also her first season consistently playing goal defence. I was so impressed with her work ethic and tenacity and she certainly proved she was worthy of the opportunity.”
Original story: Adelaide Thunderbirds