McCulloch to lead the Swifts

The NSW Swifts have announced Abbey McCulloch will once again captain the club for its 2018 Suncorp Super Netball campaign.

McCulloch, who took over as captain in 2017, has impressed head coach Briony Akle in the off-season and been selected to lead the club as they bid to return to finals netball for the first time since 2016.

The midcourter will have no shortage of support on and off the court with club stalwart Paige Hadley retaining her leadership role for the 2018 season, and 2017 Most Valued Player Maddy Proud moving to the leadership group for the first time.

Proud’s elevation into the leadership group comes as no surprise after she took over the club captaincy in 2017 when both McCulloch and Hadley were unavailable due to injury.

“I have been very impressed by the attitude of all our players since taking over the role of head coach at the Swifts and I can see some really good leadership foundations were put in place last year,” Akle said.

“Abbey has proven herself to have an excellent attitude on and off the court and she is very passionate about representing NSW.

“The enthusiasm she brings day in, day out is a massive influence on everyone at the club and given the bond that exists between these players, I feel Abbey is the right person to continue as captain for 2018.”

Akle was also delighted to retain Hadley in the leadership group for next season, and elevate Proud after a stellar 2017.

“I think when people think of Paige Hadley they see the ultimate professional who consistently pushes herself and others to reach their potential.

“She has been one of the leading lights for us for a long time and having her share her knowledge to our younger players is key to the Swifts’ success.

“As for Maddy Proud, she has really come into her own since making the move from Adelaide to join the Swifts and her two awards last year (2017 NSW Swifts MVP & Netball NSW Suncorp Super Netball Player of the Year) are a testament to this.

“Everyone at the club was very impressed by how she led the team in Abbey and Paige’s absence and her elevation to the leadership group is very well deserved.

“I am delighted with the players we have chosen to lead our team in 2018. Everyone in the squad has a team-first attitude, and these three will be great sounding boards for the younger members of the squad.

“We are now heading into the final stage of our pre-season preparations and come April it’ll be all on for Round 1 against the Firebirds. To be honest, we can’t wait!”

The NSW Swifts will open their 2018 Suncorp Super Netball campaign against the Queensland Firebirds in a Round 1 Double Header Blockbuster at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday, April 29.

Original article from NSW Swifts.