Adelaide Thunderbirds senior players Kate Shimmin and Chelsea Pitman are the first to re-sign with the club for the 2019 Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season.
The duo joins Jamaican international defender Shamera Sterling as the players announced to date for the 2019 roster.
South Australian defender Shimmin was the stand-out player in the Thunderbirds’ 2018 season, holding her own against Australian Diamonds shooters and continually producing intercepts and finishing the season with 13 blocks, the highest of any player.
Shimmin said “I’m really excited to stay at the Adelaide Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds is home for me.”
“There are 10 positions in the team and I’m competing against netballers across the world for my spot, which makes it even more special to me that I’m representing my home state at this level.
“I first joined the Thunderbirds in 2010 and have been part of the club in the successful times and throughout disappointing seasons. There is nothing I want more than to be part of making the club great again.”
Shimmin acknowledged the 2019 playing group has a lot of work to do during the upcoming pre-season.
“We all want to get that first win and to get there I know we will need to work hard.
“It’s all about the work you do behind the scenes, it’s the one percenters that get you those wins, and as a senior player that’s what I am going to be driving throughout the 2019 pre-season.”
Pitman, the club’s 2018 Vice-Captain and MVP for 2017, and a Gold Coast Commonwealth Games gold medallist, said she will lead by example and set the standards for the upcoming pre-season.
“I’ll be pushing that everyone works hard in the gym and on the training track. Working hard in pre-season puts you in good stead to build the trust and foundations required for a good season.”
Pitman said after living in Adelaide for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, Adelaide is now home for her.
“My partner lives in Adelaide and I’ve developed great friendships with some amazing locals, who are going to be friends for life. I love the city and don’t want to be anywhere else.
“I am looking forward to meeting the new players coming to the club, continuing to grow my connections with returning players and being coached by Tania Obst.
“I feel the pieces of the puzzle are coming together and that something special can be created at the Thunderbirds.”
Both Shimmin and Pitman have a decorated history with South Australian Obst, who joins the Thunderbirds as Head Coach for the 2019 season.
Pitman has worked with Obst in the English international environment for the past two years with Obst the Roses’ Assistant Coach. While Shimmin credits her rise through the Netball SA pathways to Obst being coached by her in numerous state teams and the SASI Netball Program.
Adelaide Thunderbirds General Manager Melody Cooper said the club is delighted to see Shimmin and Pitman return for the 2019 season.
“Kate and Chelsea are experienced senior players who are passionate about creating a successful environment for 2019 and beyond. Both players call Adelaide home and understand what it means to wear the pink dress,” she said.
Cooper said the Adelaide Thunderbirds will announce the remaining seven players for next season’s roster in the coming weeks, with Netball Australia recruitment guidelines stating that the 2019 list is to be finalised by late September.
“Our playing roster will have a South Australian feel complimented by key international calibre players,” she said.
Adelaide Thunderbirds seasons: 2010-2016, 2018
Age: 26 (date of birth: 13/02/1992)
Positions: GK GD
Adelaide Thunderbirds seasons: 2017, 2018
Age: 30 (date of birth – 08/06/1988)
Positions: WA GA