Petty to captain Adelaide Thunderbirds in Suncorp Super Netball season

Adelaide Thunderbirds' leadership group
Adelaide Thunderbirds' leaders Shadine van der Merwe, Hannah Petty and Maisie Nankivell. Photo: Adelaide Thunderbirds on Facebook

The Adelaide Thunderbirds have announced local talent Hannah Petty will captain the team for the 2021 Suncorp Super Netball season.

Fellow South Australian Maisie Nankivell and South African international Shadine van der Merwe will support Petty as vice-captains.

“I’m completely honoured to be named as captain this year,” Petty said. 

“When TO (Tania Obst) gave me the news I was over the moon but mostly honoured to be put in the same category as some of the names that have come before.”

Petty was co-captain with Chelsea Pitman in 2020, but the Thunderbirds have settled on solo captaincy this year.

“Last year was a great experience to be out there and have Chels along my side to learn from her,” Petty said.

“This year I’m really looking forward to stepping up and I know that I’ve got a great team behind me.”

The leadership appointments came from open voting by the squad, before coach Tania Obst made the official announcement.

“The [voting] process this year was different to last year. It was very open and we actually had to say our votes out loud as a team,” Petty said. 

“Being open with all the coaches and players, it was really special.”

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Speaking on the leadership group, Petty said they each bring something different to the table.

“It’s myself with Maisie Nankivell and Shadine van der Merwe, so we’ve got some good experience and some youth coming up, but really we all just gel together nicely,” she said. 

“Maisie, she is the ultimate professional in our team. She sets those standards really high for herself and each other.

“To be able to have her in the group and drive those standards, just backs her in even more to keep doing what she’s been doing.”

Van der Merwe, who was in South Africa until last month, earned selection through her work ethic and team spirit.

“Shadine is just the best person in our team. She loves a good laugh but then also drives standards hard and expects everyone to lift up to them as well,” Petty said.

“She’s able to connect with people over Zoom, over messages, over Facebook.

“To have that impact and then still be here for two weeks and then selected in the leadership group – hats off to her because she deserves that.”

The Thunderbirds’ camp is keen to hit the court and start the Suncorp Super Netball season next weekend.

“Everything we’ve been implementing in training everyone’s just taking it in their stride and doing it as a team first, which is really exciting,” Petty said.

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