Former Thunderbird, once again a Firebird, Tippah Dwan (Photo: Elly McNerney/2022)

Off the back of premiership glory with the Adelaide Thunderbirds, Tippah Dwan will return to the Queensland Firebirds after two years away. She will be joined by good friend Lara Dunkley.

Having moved to South Australia for more opportunity, Tippah Dwan will return to her beloved Queensland Firebirds in 2024.

She spoke about being back in purple after being unveiled as the first signing alongside Dunkley.

“I’m excited to be back home in Queensland and extremely grateful for the opportunity to be back playing in front of the purple family,” Dwan said.

“I learnt a lot moving away for two years and now I look forward bringing that experience to this amazing group.

“Can’t wait to see what we can achieve in season 2024.”

Dwan’s affinity to the Firebirds stems back to 2017, where she was also the Queensland 19 and Under captain in 2018. She got her opportunity in 2020 as a replacement player, when main-stay shooter Gretel Bueta took a year out of the league when she had her son Bobby.

In her first SSN season, Dwan made a huge impact bursting onto the scene for Queensland. She scored 184 goals, 148 goal assists and made 255 feeds.

After Bueta’s return, Dwan had less game time which saw her contemplate her future and the impact she could have, which gave her the incentive to move to Adelaide.

Second-year coach Bec Bulley spoke excitedly about Dwan’s return to the Firebirds.

“Tippah is dynamic and agile and will bring great netball smarts to our attacking third,” Bulley said.

“She returns to the Firebirds with proven premiership credentials and increased experience from her time with the Thunderbirds.

“We’re all very excited to have her back in Queensland and I’m looking forward to her shining in the purple dress in 2024.”

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Joining her on the Firebirds roster is last year’s vice captain and good friend, Lara Dunkley. Her two-year deal will mean that she will continue with the club after coming over as an injury replacement in 2020.

The 28-year-old mid-courter has been a force at Queensland, notching up 50 league games in 2023. This past season she led the club in goal assists (206) as well as feeds (355) and centre pass receives (250).

Dunkley explained what the club meant to her and why she decided to sign on.

“I didn’t want to go anywhere else, this is my home now,” Dunkley said.

“I love it here in Queensland. I love the club and I’m excited for what’s ahead and what we’re building.

“We’re really fortunate as a club to have some incredible partners and people involved.

“I really value how we can connect to people face-to-face in our regional areas who are all a part of our club and am excited to see the partnership will continue for at least another three years.”

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Bulley notes that ‘proven performer’ Dunkey was a crucial signing to the team in terms of ‘bringing experience and on-court leadership’.

“Lara is not only a proven performer at Suncorp Super Netball level, bringing experience and on-court leadership to our team, but she is a Firebird through and through,” Bulley said.

“Lara may play with a smile on her face but there’s no doubt she’s as tough a competitor as you’ll see, someone who isn’t afraid to put her body on the line but also provides clean ball to our shooters.

“I know our Purple Family will be as happy as I am that Lara will be part of our team again in 2024.”

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