The Adelaide Thunderbirds have announced their leaders for the 2019 Suncorp Super Netball Season, with Chelsea Pitman and Layla Guscoth named as co-captains.
Chelsea, in her third year with the Adelaide Thunderbirds, was the 2018 vice-captain and has represented Australia and England at national level. She was a member of the gold-medal winning English National Netball Team at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and also won gold with Australia at the 2011 World Netball Championships.
The experienced midcourter highlighted the excitement felt amongst the Adelaide Thunderbirds playing group ahead of the 2019 season.
“There’s a simmering feel to it, you can’t necessarily put your finger on it but that’s the vibe we have right now and that’s really exciting heading into round 1,” she said.
Layla, who will make her debut for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the 2019 season, has significant international experience with over 20 caps for England and has played at the elite level since 2011 with Hertfordshire Mavericks and Team Bath in the English Superleague.
“I’ve captained the Hertfordshire Mavericks and underage teams back home but this is definitely the most unknown, it’s exciting and a huge challenge,” she said.
“I’m so excited to be sharing it with Chelsea because she is an amazing leader but also because she’s a good friend of mine which is great to have someone you can look to for support.
“I’m honoured, this is clearly an amazing club and I’ve heard that from Australians here but also some of my English counterparts who have come out here and they speak of the legacy of this club.
“It’s awesome to be able to captain and lead such a great group.”
Head Coach Tania Obst said that the leadership group has evolved over time since the group first came together in October.
“Chelsea has been the leader since way back in October with the younger girls and then Layla has just come in and seamlessly fitted in,” she said.
“Her standards that she sets both on and off the court have been immense.
“When we started our leadership program it became very obvious very quickly who our leaders would be."
Chelsea said that the dual captaincy role with her English Roses teammate will evolve as the season unfolds.
“There will still be discussions for Layla and I, but I think it’ll continue how it’s naturally transpired in this whole preseason,” she said.
“My leadership style is making sure everybody is accountable for sticking to their strengths.”
Melody Cooper, General Manager – Adelaide Thunderbirds, said the club had a robust process to identify what the club was looking for in the new leadership group.
“Layla Guscoth and Chelsea Pitman are exceptional leaders who epitomise where we are heading with the new generation,” she said.
The Adelaide Thunderbirds’ 2019 season begins at Priceline Stadium on Sunday 28 April against West Coast Fever.