Manchester Thunder has swiftly recalled from retirement Kerry Almond, less than 24 hours after the club ruled the Malawi Queens defender Lauren Ngwira out of the 2021 season on ‘medical grounds’.
Breaking the news on the club’s website www.manchesterthunder.co.uk on Tuesday, Director of Netball, Karen Greig said “the Malawi Queen will return home to be with her family.”
Greig commented: “Of course we are disappointed to lose Loreen at such a crucial time as the season is about to start, we wish her well and a safe trip home.”
“However, we need to act fast now and will endeavour to find a replacement to continue our quest to retain the Vitality Netball Superleague title.”
And true to his Greig’s words, Manchester Thunder recalled Kerry Almond from retirement to fill the void left by Lauren ahead of the 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague season kickoff this Friday.
The defender, who has won the competition three times previously, returns following the late withdrawal of the Malawian defender Lauren Ngwira.
Netball Association of Malawi General Secretary Carol Bapu confirmed to www.swammw.com that indeed the player had informed the association that she was returning home.
Bapu said: “Lauren has indeed confirmed to us (NAM) of her homecoming and that is all we know at least for now.”
Almond’s last match for Manchester Thunder was the Vitality Netball Superleague final in 2019.
Greig, who also has Tracey Neville back in their ranks as a specialist coach and performance operations director, said that she was thrilled that Almond had answered her call.
Thunder commences their 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague campaign on Friday evening. They will be second onto court in Wakefield and will take on Strathclyde Sirens.