Thunderbirds back speedy midcourt to star in 2018

The Adelaide Thunderbirds have added serious pace to their midcourt with the addition of South African captain Bongiwe Msomi and former Australian U21 player Kaitlyn Bryce.

Bongiwe Msomi will bring her trademark flair and athleticism to the Adelaide Thunderbirds in 2018. She will arrive in Adelaide following a successful season in the UK Vitality Netball Superleague, where her team, Wasps Netball, took out the title and she was named MVP in the 2017 final.

Msomi has taken her game to a new level since playing under South African coach and former Australian Diamonds’ coach Norma Plummer, who encouraged Adelaide Thunderbirds’ head coach Dan Ryan to consider the dynamic mid-courter.

“Norma could not speak more highly of Bongiwe and I know she’s going to bring a real element of surprise to the competition. She has super quick hands, untouchable speed, is an absolute fighter and that’s exactly what we are looking for,” said Ryan.

“She has the x-factor and the ability to really rip open a game. I think she’s going to absolutely thrive in the environment and cause quite a few headaches for the opposition.”

Pacey and dynamic, 22-year-old Kaitlyn Bryce is the ultimate attacking all-rounder, with the ability to cover centre, wing attack and goal attack. Bryce has long been marked as a player on the rise as she moved through underage state and national sides, and has since cemented herself as one of NSW’s premier netballers after taking home back-to-back State League Player of the Year Awards in 2014 and 2015. Bryce made her ANZ Championship debut with the NSW Swifts in 2016 and having taken a break in 2017 to fully recover from a back injury, the young gun is now ready to reignite her career at the elite level.

Head coach Dan Ryan believes Bryce’s netball smarts and ability to cover a number of positions make her the perfect addition to the Thunderbirds line-up in 2018.

“I’ve kept an eye on Kaitlyn for many years now and think she has so much talent and potential that I believe she could be anything. She’s a natural playmaker with a brilliant skill set and is very much a student of the game,” said Ryan.

“Kaitlyn is such a valuable utility player with her ability to run the show in the midcourt and cause havoc in the goal circle. In a team of 10, that adaptability is crucial and it makes her a great asset for us.”

Msomi and Bryce will combine with Adelaide Thunderbirds 2017 MVP, Chelsea Pitman and Australian U21 captain and South Australian talent, Hannah Petty to offer Ryan plenty of options in his midcourt.

These players add to an exciting 2018 playing roster for the Adelaide Thunderbirds after Leana de Bruin and Kate Shimmin were announced as new recruits yesterday and join returning defender Fiona Themann.

The remaining three positions will be announced tomorrow.