England international Laura Malcolm will remain with Manchester Thunder for the 2022 and 2023 Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) seasons, the club have confirmed.
Malcolm was a key part in why Thunder finished in third place last term as she excelled in three different positions – wing defence, centre and wing attack – over the course of the campaign.
The 30-year-old has been an integral member of the team for a number of years having been involved in all three of Thunder’s title wins so far. She lifted the trophy in 2012, 2014 and most recently in 2019.
Aside from a brief spell with Severn Stars in 2017, Malcolm has spent the majority of her club career with the Manchester outfit and has once again committed for another season in the north west.
As well as a hat-trick of VNSL titles, Malcolm also comes with international experience and has played against some of the best players in the world. With more than 30 caps for the Vitality Roses, Malcolm was recently involved in England’s first-ever test series victory in New Zealand earlier this week.
After coming close to defending their 2019 title, Malcolm is excited to be re-joining Thunder for the next two years. She said: “I’m looking forward to picking up from where we left off. I think we finished the season not quite as strong as we would have liked, but there are so many positives to take out of last year.
“We went on a massive journey, and we have become so connected as a team and I just can’t wait to be back in that environment and start pushing again. We definitely need to take care of some unfinished business.
“Last season, being part of the leadership team with Emma [Dovey] and Ellie [Cardwell], I felt really supported. We really look out for each other and the rest of the team, and obviously last year it was really important that we kept having conversations and kept challenging each other, because obviously it was a really tough year.
“We worked really closely not only with the players but also the coaches to make sure that we were always pushing forward as a team and making sure that everyone is navigating through the season well. We created some new processes that will benefit us a lot going forwards in the future.
“I can’t wait to get back in Belle Vue. I still remember the last home game that we had before the season got cancelled, and it was absolutely electric in there so I can’t wait to have the fans back. Even though we didn’t have the Thunder fans with us [last season], we definitely felt the love, so it’s going to be a really special time when we get to go back on court and everyone’s there with us so we can all enjoy the game together.”
Manchester Thunder Head Coach Karen Greig said: “I’m delighted to have re-signed Laura for this upcoming season. She is a key member of the squad last season and her ability to be able to play across all three centre court positions gives us flexibility across our combinations.
“She is a true leader both on and off the court, bringing so much passion to this team. She is as fit as ever and always striving to improve. I know she will be coming back off a solid international block with more strings to her bow.”
Malcolm becomes Manchester Thunder’s third signing of the 2022 Signing Window after Natalie Haythornthwaite and Shadine van der Merwe. You can see the Thunder squad as it develops here.