While it’s not quite the silly season yet, the announcement of the competition collective bargaining agreement means that the eight Suncorp Super Netball teams can now begin entering contract negotiations.
The date of the signing period is still unknown, but the rumours and speculation have already begun.
The Inner Sanctum has taken a look at a player every team could add to its squad from elsewhere, be that Super Netball competitors, state netball rising stars, or internationals looking for a new home.
Adelaide Thunderbirds – Kaylia Stanton
The Thunderbirds need a shooter. Ideally, a tall shooter who has the ability to play either goal shooter or goal attack, the way Sophie Garbin does for the NSW Swifts. As a young side, the Thunderbirds could use the experience of a player who has been in the system for six years.
This year the Thunderbirds shooting circle was largely comprised of Georgie Horjus and Lenize Potgeiter. Each of them have limitations, be it shooting range (Potgeiter) or height (Horjus) that mean that they can be forced into one-dimensional play against high quality opponents.
Horjus particularly, in just her second season, still struggles against certain matchups. Stanton, with years of experience in the system, and plenty of versatility to play either goal shooter or goal attack provides the missing third part of the circle.
Stanton can come off the bench with impact, and play in either role, in any system, as she has shown over the past few years as a member of the Fever and later the Vixens.
At this point, her experience will allow her to mentor Horjus as she grows to work through matchups, while also being able to come into goal attack and push Horjus to wing attack, or replace Potgeiter at goal shooter.
In particular, her ability to shoot from long range, as highlighted in 2020 when she made 14 Super Shots at 52 per cent accuracy, would provide a valuable change of pace to the Thunderbirds attack late in quarters.
A player like Stanton, who can play both roles in the circle and has mentoring experience and system versatility, is one of the things the Thunderbirds are missing. Kaylia Stanton can fill that gap to perfection.
Collingwood Magpies – Claudia Mawson
She might not be a household name yet, but 19-year-old Claudia Mawson has been quietly plying her trade in the Victorian Netball League (VNL) with second place finisher the Melbourne University Lightning.
The Lightning has a history of producing top level talent, and current Vixens training partners Gabby Coffey and Jordan Cransberg are also in the 2021 squad.
Mawson was one of five Lightning players selected for this year’s Vic Fury squad, the most of any side in the VNL.
She’s formed a dangerous shooting combo with former NSW Swift Mikaela Vaughan, learning her craft and making the Lightning the third highest scoring side in the 10 team competition.
If the likes of Kaylia Stanton and Ruby Barkmeyer attract attention elsewhere, the Vixens might also come door-knocking for Mawson’s services. However, she’d be a fantastic fit to rotate through the goal attack position with Gabby Sinclair.
Outside of potential circle partner Shimona Nelson, the Pies lack a youthful presence in their starting seven despite being a team on the cusp of finals.
When you look at how a team like the Giants worked offensively with Sophie Dwyer in the mix, or the Vixens with Rahni Samason on debut, it might just be the extra push they need to become a dominant scoring team.
If they want to look for a more experienced option, Sophie Garbin from the NSW Swifts could also be looking for further opportunity on court.
Other needs for the Pies to address could include an extra goal defence option to give Jodi-Ann Ward a chop out and change up the game plan to a taller defensive combo when needed.
Giants Netball – Hannah Mundy
With Liz Watson coming back into the Vixens fold in 2022, elevated training partner Hannah Mundy could be without a contract for next season.
Mundy hasn’t looked out of place in the Melbourne Vixens mid-court this season and the Giants will be looking to add more flexibility in their front line.
She had a remarkable first season with the Vixens, named Rookie of the Year for the club For the season Mundy had 136 goal assists and played a brilliant defensive game, having 17 deflections and five intercepts.
The Giants struggled this season in match where one of the mid counters were off their typical games.
Jamie Lee Price struggled in the Round 13 game against the Lightning and Maddie Hay was off during the semi final clash with the Swifts, also kept quiet in the Grand Final.
Having that flexibility in the Giants front line will allow them to pull off the player that is struggling and have a player like Mundy waiting in the wings.
Being able to play wing attack and centre, her addition can take the Giants’ game to the next level come 2022.
Melbourne Vixens – Kalifa McCollin
It’s no secret that the Vixens struggled to fill the shoes of retired shooters Caitlin Thwaites and Tegan Philip this season, but Magpie Kalifa McCollin could solve the issue moving forward.
McCollin was only 20-years-old when she debuted for the Calypso Girls in the 2015 Netball World Cup. Building experience internationally, the now 26-year-old has played in Vitality Super League, the ANZ Premiership and the Suncorp Super Netball League.
With Mwai Kumwenda as the Vixens’ prefered goal shooter, there has been a struggle all season to find a consistent goal attack that compliments the Malawian international’s playing style.
Struggling to find consistent court time at the Magpies, McCollin would be an asset to her cross-town side, bringing her athletic maturity and stability with her.
Across only eight games, McCollin played a total of 119 minutes for Collingwood this season, who focused more on the connection between Shimona Nelson and Gabby Sinclair.
In the Magpies Round 9 loss to the Thunderbirds, McCollin played for almost half the game, shooting at eight of eight goals and only missing one of three Super Shots.
When she’s given the opportunity to play, she often performs, but in order to ensure her skills are up to scratch, she must receive more time on court.
It’s unlikely that the Magpies would give up the developing connection between Nelson and Sinclair, which would mean that if McCollin doesn’t consider her options elsewhere, she may remain on the bench for the majority of 2022.
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NSW Swifts – Emma Cosh
With rumours swirling that Nat Haythornthwaite could potentially be going back to the UK next year, the Swifts will need to find someone to replace her. Emma Cosh has proven that’s she able to play on the big stage.
Cosh was able to fill in the void that was left in the Fever front line when Fever favourite Ingrid Colyer went down with a ACL last year. She was able to make an impact in the front end.
She played a vital role to the Fevers run to the grand final in 2020, but since Verity Charles has gone back to wing attack and Jess Anstiss running in the centre, Cosh has found herself out of court time.
Having the chance to play alongside some of the best in the competition as well as being coached by dual premiership coach Briony Akle could be a great next step for Cosh.
Like Haythornthwaite, Cosh also has the ability to play in the goal circle which allows for that deeper understanding when feeding it into the shooters.
Queensland Firebirds – Latanya Wilson
Firebirds’ goal defence Tara Hinchliffe won’t be taking to the court in 2022, as she continues to recover from an ACL injury suffered at training in July. With the season likely to be played before the Commonwealth Games, the Firebirds will need someone to fill the spot.
Jamaican Latanya Wilson has been grinding away in Adelaide through the 2021 season, but for more opportunities on court the Sunshine Girl might need to look elsewhere in 2022.
A move to Queensland could be on the cards for the young defender.
In her first season in the Super Netball, Wilson showed promise when she took to the court for the Thunderbirds. Playing across wing defence and goal keeper, Wilson looked most comfortable in her preferred position of goal defence where she worked with fellow Jamaican Shamera Sterling.
Her seemingly-endless wingspan troubles opponents and she would be a different, but strong fit for the goal defence hole in the Firebirds line-up.
Wilson finished with nine intercepts and 17 deflections, but played just 36 per cent of game. As a 20-year-old, Wilson has so much room for growth and the Firebirds could be the place for her to do it.
Sunshine Coast Lightning – Emily Mannix
On Saturday, the Lightning announced that Phumza Maweni would be departing the club after three seasons on the Sunshine Coast. It means the club will need to look for a new goal keeper to combine with Karla Pretorius and Kate Shimmin.
Enter experienced Australian Diamond and Vixens defender Emily Mannix.
In 2021 Mannix found herself in a three-player defensive unit at the Vixens and, unfortunately for her game, she often made way for the dynamic, impact player Kadie-Ann Dehaney.
Without including the three games Mannix spent on the bench through injury, she played 66 per cent of game time and made a total of 21 intercepts and 30 deflections. The Vixens’ first win for the season also came while Mannix was injured.
Mannix is a Super Netball starting goal keeper who works hard and hunts the ball. She’s clean, she’s fast and with some extra height she’ll forge a great combination with Pretorius.
She may no longer be the right fit at the Vixens, but at the Lightning Mannix will play the consistent, defensive role that coach Kylee Byrne will be after.
West Coast Fever – Adean Thomas
The Fever have overwhelming numbers in defence and attack but are lacking in mid-court players who can play all three positions, which is why Adean Thomas would be an asset on the West Coast.
Currently playing in the Vitality Netball Superleague for the London Pulse, Thomas hails from Jamaica, starring alongside Fever shooter Jhaniele Fowler in the Sunshine Girls team.
Bringing speed and accuracy in feeding, whilst backing up her technical ability in defence, Thomas would be a blessing for the Fever.
Adding another international star to the line-up will also be beneficial for the West Coast side, who need to find consistency in the mid-court area.
In the preliminary final, Stacey Marinkovich struggled to identify a working combination between Verity Charles, Jess Anstiss and Emma Cosh whilst constantly switching up the defence in an attempt to combat the Giants’ strong form.
Thomas, who has experience in wing defence, wing attack and centre would have been a power house when it came to feeding Fowler, whilst resolving the issue of cross-court instability.
With questions being raised about Fowler’s return home to Jamaica, something needs to be done if the Fever want to retain the league’s best shooter.
Having international experience and an understanding of what it’s like to spend time away from family, Thomas’ empathetic approach to Fowler could be the reason she stays in Western Australia.
The Suncorp Super Netball League may also play a fundamental role in developing the 27-year-old’s skill, precision and versatility across the court.
With six other Jamaican netballers playing in the Suncorp Super Netball competition, Thomas’ move to Australia is not unfathomable.
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