Leana de Bruin to captain Adelaide Thunderbirds

The Adelaide Thunderbirds have announced their leaders for the 2018 Suncorp Super Netball season, with Leana de Bruin named Captain and Chelsea Pitman, Vice-Captain.

Leana and Chelsea will be supported by Fiona Fowler, Cat Tuivaiti and Kate Shimmin who form the team’s leadership group.

Leana, who will make her debut for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the 2018 season, has significant leadership experience captaining New Zealand sides the Northern Stars in 2017, and Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic in 2015 and 2016.  She has played netball at the elite level since 2003 and has represented South Africa and New Zealand, earning 138 international caps and competing at five Netball World Cups.

Head Coach Dan Ryan said Leana was the standout choice for captain.

“Leana is the most experienced, accomplished and credentialed leader within our new look team and after the nomination process, it was clear to see how much respect and belief the playing group and staff have in her to lead us,” he said.

“She has so much to offer this team and her influence and impact has already been felt by all involved.”

Leana said she is honoured to captain the Adelaide Thunderbirds.

“I feel very humbled by everyone’s support, with Dan trusting me to help achieve his vision for the club and knowing I have the support and backing from my teammates with their votes,” she said.

“I’m looking forward to using my previous experiences as captain to work with the leadership group, my teammates and coaches on continuing to build the strong culture we have created this pre-season.”

Leana’s deputy will be last year’s Club Champion, Chelsea Pitman.

“Chelsea has really thrived among the new playing group and it’s been so great to see her flourish,” Ryan said.

“She’s now at the stage in her career where it’s time to step up into the leadership space and we’ve all been very impressed with the role she’s been playing on court, as well as the contribution she’s making off court to the culture of the team and club.”

Leana and Chelsea will be ably supported by the club’s underpinning leadership group, Kate Shimmin, Fiona Fowler and Cathrine Tuivaiti. “All three featured prominently in the nomination process and offer the team a unique and varied skill set which fits perfectly for us considering how diverse the group is,” Ryan said.

“We want all hands on deck this year and each of them will be accountable for specific areas such driving elite standards and behaviours, team cohesion and athlete mentorship.”

Ryan added that he’s placed a lot of onus and responsibility on the playing group this year to actively contribute to all areas of the club and to make a positive impact.

“It’s no secret we have a big challenge ahead of us as we rebuild from the ground up, but rest assured we are all up for the challenge and I have great confidence in our leaders to play a significant role in driving us forward,” he said.