Abernethy added as Thunderbirds prepare for season opener

Exciting local mid-courter Gia Abernethy has been elevated to the Adelaide Thunderbirds playing ten for the club’s opening match of the inaugural Suncorp Super Netball League at home this Sunday.

Abernethy was originally named as part of the Thunderbirds training squad and has completed a full preseason with the team. She replaces Hannah Petty, who continues her recovery from a foot injury and is expected to resume full training in the next couple of weeks.

For head coach Dan Ryan, Abernethy’s consistency and professionalism made her the obvious choice to join the playing squad.

“She’s certainly made the most of her opportunities and taken her game to a whole new level. She’s a such a professional and an exceptional team person, so I’m really pleased to be able to give her this opportunity,” said Ryan.

Ryan was happy with the team’s preparation this week as they prepare to take on the West Coast Fever at Priceline Stadium.

“We’ve had a really solid week on the training track with a big focus on getting our units and combinations as connected as possible. We’ve had a lot of match play trying to get the new combinations as familiar as possible so that they can withstand the pressure on Sunday,” Ryan said.

“We have a clear game plan in place to combat the Fever and think we can exploit them in a few areas as well, so it’s going to be exciting to see if we can pull it all together and kick off our campaign in style.”

Like the Thunderbirds, West Coast Fever have undergone some big changes with several fresh faces in their line up, but Ryan believes it would be a mistake to underestimate them.

“Fever are a very well balanced team with enough firepower in their line up to hurt us if we let them. Any team with Natalie Medhurst running the show in attack is dangerous, and with Courtney Bruce and Stacey Francis in the defensive circle, they are not a team you’d want to underestimate.”

“I can’t wait to get the season started and for the fans to see our new look team in full flight. Only three of our ten have ever stepped foot on court as a Thunderbird in previous seasons, so seeing others debut in the pink dress is going to be a special moment,” Ryan said.

“It’s an exciting time for the club and we will be doing everything we can to make sure we get across the line on Sunday”

Tickets for Sunday’s clash against West coast Fever at Priceline Stadium are still available at Ticketmaster.

Adelaide Thunderbirds vs West Coast Fever

Sunday, 19 February, 12:30pm ACDT
Priceline Stadium
Match Live via Telstra Netball Live app
Delayed broadcast on Gem on Monday 20th Feb 11:30am

Adelaide Thunderbirds
Erin Bell (C)
Jade Clarke (VC)
Gia Abernethy
Ama Agbeze
Karyn Bailey
Emily Burgess
Jane Cook
Malysha Kelly
Chelsea Pitman
Fiona Themann

West Coast Fever
Natalie Medhurst (C)
Verity Charles (VC)
Jessica Antiss
Kate Beveridge
Courtney Bruce
Ingrid Colyer
Shannon Eagland
Stacey Francis
Annika Lee-Jones
Kaylia Stanton