This weekend's sport has plenty of action in the AFL and NRL, as well as some ice hockey, netball and soccer.
The Adelaide Thunderbirds are looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2018 season, with tickets to the 2019 Suncorp Super Netball now available.
The Thunderbirds will be taking five matches to Priceline Stadium this season, starting with the 2018 runners up, West Coast Fever. The clash takes place on Sunday 28 April at 2.30pm. Adelaide will also host the Melbourne Vixens, Queensland Firebirds, Collingwood Magpies, and GWS Giants at Priceline through the 2019 season.
The Thunderbirds have bolstered their side with some critical off-season signings in a bid to get onto a winning run in 2019.
English Rose goal defence Layla Guscoth joins the side after a brilliant season for Team Bath in the Vitality Netball Superleague, the elite competition in the UK. Guscoth was named in the All Star VII in the UK and is a huge steal for the Thunderbirds, with Head Coach Tania Obst describing her as “a tenacious defender with great agility and footwork to effectively disrupt shooting circles.
“Her ability to contest ball in the air is also a highlight of her game and I have no doubt our members and supporters will enjoy watching Layla line up for the Thunderbirds in 2019.
“Layla is able to effectively cover all three defensive positions, which adds the diversity required in a ten-player roster,” Obst said.
Current Silver Fern and Commonwealth Games gold medalist Maria Folau also joins the Thunderbirds roster in 2019. One of the highest profile netballers in the world, the Goal Shooter is one of the world’s best in her craft.
Speaking about Folau, Obst said, “What a fantastic signing for our club, members and supporters for the 2019 season.
“Maria brings a wealth of experience and a world-class quality to our team. The contribution she will make to our attacking end will be significant as well as the added value of working with our two young SA shooters.”
In addition to boosting their defence and attacking prowess, the Thunderbirds have greatly strengthened their midcourt with another Commonwealth Games gold medalist, Beth Cobden.
The English wing defence is a key member of the English Roses, and has been most recently plying her trade with Loughborough Lightning in the Vitality Netball Superleague. Cobden was also named in the All Star VII in 2018, as well as 2017, whilst also being nominated for the Superleague Play of the Season last season.
Speaking about Cobden, Obst’s praise was glowing, “Beth is an elite, athletic, specialist wing defence who also covers the centre position. Her ability to deny and restrict her opponent is a highlight of her game.
“She has flourished on the international stage for the past two years and was an integral member of England’s Commonwealth Games gold medal win.”
The Thunderbirds have further added homegrown talent to their roster in South Australians Cody Lange and Kelly Altmann. Lange joins after two seasons at the Collingwood Magpies, after five years at the Thunderbirds previously. The goal attack will be joined by midcourter Altmann, with both players having worked with coach Obst previously as they came through the South Australian Netball pathway.
2018 Thunderbirds Chelsea Pitman, Hannah Petty, Sasha Glasgow and Kate Shimmin, who was Adelaide’s 2018 Player of the Season, have all recommitted to the Club. They are joined by Jamaican International Shamera Sterling who also rejoins to round out the 10-player roster.
Some huge International signings set-up big expectations for the Adelaide Thunderbirds 2019 season, and some undoubtedly very exciting performances to come.
Tickets to see the Thunderbirds at Priceline Stadium this season can be found at Ticketmaster.com.au.