Six of our Adelaide Thunderbirds team flew to Liverpool to compete in the Vitality Netball World Cup which ran from 12 -21 July.
Each of our Adelaide Thunderbirds’ national teams had successful World Cup campaigns however only one of the teams came out victorious.
Maria Folau’s New Zealand Silver Ferns went into the tournament hungry to prove themselves to the world as a heavy weight in netball once again. After the 2018 Commonwealth Games where New Zealand failed to take home a medal, the 2019 World Netball World Cup was their opportunity to make their comeback under new coach Noeline Taurua.
And what a comeback! New Zealand for the first time in 16 years defeated the Australian Diamonds by one goal to take home the gold.
Three Adelaide Thunderbirds team members were involved with the England Roses including, Chelsea Pitman, Layla Guscoth and our own Head Coach Tania Obst taking up the Assistant Coach role for the English team.
After winning Gold in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the England Roses were favourites heading into the Netball World Cup secured a bronze medal and played great netball throughout the competition.
Shadine van der Merwe, who represented South Africa in the Netball World Cup was ecstatic with how the team performed over the ten day.
“I’m super proud to be South African. Making semis after 25 years has been a huge highlight as well as making the country proud and giving us hope for netball in the future. Truly proud of our African sisters as well, where four African teams made top eight in the world is just amazing!”
Netball fans across the globe were impressed to see South Africa cement themselves as a new powerhouse in netball. In their nail-biting semi-final game against Australia where they missed out on the battle for gold by just two goals, showed the world how they have elevated their game under now-retiring coach, Norma Plummer.
“Being coached by Norma Plummer would definitely be one of my biggest highlight in my Netball career, she made me a WD about a year and a half ago and the way she made me grow as a player is just amazing!” Shadine said.
“I am just so thankful for getting the opportunity to be coached by her and learn a lot. She has definitely had a huge impact in my Netball career.”
Shamera Sterling’s Jamaican Sunshine Girls team finished fifth on the ladder after coming into the tournament ranked second in the world. Following two tight games against England and South Africa in their pool, saw the team pushed out of the semi-finals and into fighting for fifth place against Malawi which they won 68-50.
The Netball World Cup was a huge ten days, showcasing the best netball from all over the world. It was exciting to see the nations come head-to-head in some intense matches in the push to come out on top.
We congratulate all our Adelaide Thunderbirds players for being selected to play for their country. It’s a huge honour and we are excited to see all who participate back in the Adelaide Thunderbirds camp as we finish out the remainder of the Suncorp Super Netball Season.
The next Netball World Cup will be help in Cape Town, South Africa in 2023.