Talented shooter Eleanor Cardwell has extended her stay with Manchester Thunder by a further two years and will for the club in the Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) until 2023.
The goal attack / goal shooter has been at the north west outfit for the majority of her Superleague career having made the step up in 2012. Cardwell then became one of Severn Stars’ first-ever signings before re-joining her local side for the 2019 season.
Cardwell won another title in her second spell with a win over Wasps in the Grand Final in her homecoming campaign and has proven to be a key member of personnel for Thunder since.
Last season, she proved a threat in and out of the circle as Thunder finished in third. As well as numerous goal assists, Cardwell scored exactly 400 goals with only eight players scoring more.
Cardwell has cemented herself as a key player not only for Thunder but for the Vitality Roses also. In fact, she is one of just eight players to have been selected in the Roses Programme every year since its inception.
The 26-year-old is currently on her way back from New Zealand where England produced a stunning comeback to win the Cadbury Netball Series against the Silver Ferns. Cardwell scored the final goal of the three games to secure a historic, first-ever series to series win in New Zealand.
“I was super excited when I found out about the latest two new signings to be announced [Natalie Haythornthwaite and Shadine van der Merwe] and I was jumping up and down on my bed in excitement for this season. Last season, we did really well as a team, and I think these two new signings are just going to excel us at training. I think training will be super hard and competitive, and that’s exactly what we need,” said Cardwell.
“We now have so many options with the squad. The fact that me and Nat can hopefully build that connection in wing attack and goal attack, and then maybe switching and having that connection in the circle, which I’ve loved playing with her in the past in those positions.
“I can’t wait to have fans back at the games next season too. When you come to a home game at Manchester Thunder the atmosphere and family feel of what Thunder bring is extraordinary.
“I remember my time away and then coming back in to Thunder, and that first game I played back I was like ‘wow’ this is what I’ve missed, this is why you would want to play for Thunder because the crowd is ridiculous. So anyone thinking of coming to a game next season, just come to a game because you will have the time of your lives and you’ll be addicted and to want to come all of the time.”
Manchester Thunder Head Coach Karen Greig said: “I’m super happy to have Eleanor back with the yellow and black this season. Her growth last year was fantastic and she developed her game so much and can now offer us two positions in our attack end. She is fearless on her shot which makes it hard for other teams to shut her down.
“Eleanor is keen to keep pushing forward and improve her game whilst developing her leadership skills off the court. She is a key member to this squad which will see her link up nicely with our roses connection with Nat and Laura [Malcolm]. I am excited to see how our front line fires this upcoming season.”
Cardwell becomes Manchester Thunder’s fourth signing of the 2022 Signing Window after Natalie Haythornthwaite, Shadine van der Merwe and Laura Malcolm. You can see the Thunder squad as it develops here.