New Dwan in Adelaide Thunderbirds’ attack as Tippah signs

Tippah Dwan
After departing the Queensland Firebirds, Tippah Dwan has signed on at the Adelaide Thunderbirds for 2022 in a move that will shake up their attack. Photo: Queensland Firebirds

Looking for more opportunity, former Queensland Firebird Tippah Dwan has signed with the Adelaide Thunderbirds for season 2022, a move that will potentially push 2021 Club Champion Georgie Horjus into a new role. For all the Suncorp Super Netball signing news, stay up to date with our Off-Season Hub and follow The Inner Sanctum’s netball podcast, Over a Third, on Twitter and Instagram to get the news when it breaks.

Emerging in the 2020 Super Netball season as a star shooter for the Firebirds, Dwan was relegated to the bench as Gretel Bueta returned after the birth of her baby boy Bobby in January.

It meant that Dwan, who was in the Diamonds squad earlier this year, was not the preferred shooting option in Queensland – even in Super Shot periods – and she was left with a big decision to make ahead of 2022.

“My main reason (for moving) was probably just for a bit of opportunity,” Dwan told media on Thursday afternoon.

“I think that the girls here are a very young and up-and-coming group, coming through the SSN. So, I thought it was a great opportunity to come on board and have a bit of fun with them too.”

At the Firebirds, Dwan was surrounded by players with a wealth of international netball experience. The shooting circle alone featured Australian Diamond Gretel Bueta and Jamaican Romelda Aiken.

“I was around a lot of big talent in Queensland,” Dwan said.

“There were many big names and I learnt a lot from them, so hopefully I can take that and bring it to my own game and to the Thunderbirds next year.”

Conversely, at the Thunderbirds, there is much less international experience. The team does have a bright future though, with three Diamonds Development Squad members – now four with Dwan.

“I think we can just kind of take each other’s confidence and put it all together and hopefully it shows on court,” she said.

“I think we really have nothing to lose, being such a young team, so it’s really awesome.”

In her search for a new club to call home, Dwan was looking for a team that was a “family,” given she will be leaving hers behind in Queensland.

She saw that in the girls at the Thunderbirds; a team from all over the country and world.

“Just watching from afar, they look like a really friendly and kind of family-orientated team, which is really important to me,” Dwan said.

“Obviously, I will be leaving my family up in Queensland, being a Brisbane girl, so that was really important for me when kind of choosing which team I wanted to head to.

“I think watching those Victorian girls come up this year has really given me a bit confidence.

“I’m a bit nervous to start at a new team, but they all seem really lovely and I’ve had a few welcomes from them already, so I’m really keen to jump in.”

Her new opponents at training, re-signed defenders Shamera Sterling and Matilda Garrett, were among the first to reach out to Dwan once her signing at been announced.

“They seem keen to have me, so that’s a good sign,” Dwan said.

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While there are still signings to come for the Thunderbirds, Dwan knows she will be working alongside the recently re-signed Club Champion Georgie Horjus in the goal circle.

The pair have previously played the same type of role in their teams, but Dwan looks forward to seeing how they can work together in the goal circle.

“Georgie is such an amazing talent and hopefully we can get in there at the same time and maybe take a bit of pressure off each other for that big Super Shot,” Dwan said. 

The new addition will change the dynamics of the Thunderbirds attack. They may play Dwan in goal shooter and Horjus in goal attack, but it could also push Horjus into a new position – wing attack.

“I’m really excited, especially switching from that goal attack to wing attack position,” Horjus said to media last Friday.

“Wing attack’s a bit of a newer position, so I’m really excited to give that a go.”

Horjus, awarded the Adelaide Thunderbirds 2021 Club Champion at the Netball SA Awards Gala on Friday evening, said it was a “pretty straight-forward” decision for her to stay at the Thunderbirds.

The attacker was rewarded with a contract in 2021 after heading to the 2020 Queensland hub as an elevated training partner. Her incredible rise has continued, with further recognition coming in the way of Club Champion and a place in the Diamonds Development Squad.

After signing a two year deal, Horjus shared that it’s all about the connection out on court, helping each other to improve year on year.

“The girls around me really helped because they knew how I played and what worked well for me, so I’m really excited to hopefully next year take it that bit better,” she said.

The Adelaide Thunderbirds will make further announcements on their squad before October 8.

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