Young Vitality Roses star Vicki Oyesola is the second player to commit her future to new Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) side Leeds Rhinos Netball.
The defender, who last week was named in Jess Thirlby’s Vitality Roses squad for the three-match test series against New Zealand this month, joins the Rhinos on a one-year deal from Loughborough Lightning.
Whilst at her former franchise Loughborough Lightning, Oyesola won the VNSL’s Young Player of the Season Award in her debut season and has secured four international caps to date.
Alongside her playing career, the 22-year-old will continue her studies in Mechanical Engineering Degree at Loughborough University.
“I’m really looking forward to joining Leeds Rhinos Netball. It is an exciting opportunity to be building with a brand new team, with great staff and players. Joining a club at the start gives us the ability to grow together and we have the opportunity to build our own culture,” she said.
“When I spoke to Dan Ryan, he spoke about creating a team that is strong and diverse, bringing in players from different areas with different experiences and building and developing the players individually as well as the team as a whole, which is something I really bought into.
“I am looking forward to building strong partnerships within the team and my ambition is that we become a competitive side who push for a top four position.”
The defender joins on a one-year deal from Loughborough Lightning 🦏
— Vitality Netball Superleague (@NetballSL) October 5, 2020
The former Saracens Mavericks player joins fellow England international Jade Clarke in the Rhinos squad ahead of the club’s maiden Superleague season.
The pair will begin their pre-season programme on October 5 alongside the remainder of the squad and all athletes are committed to a full-time programme.
Oyesola will then fly out with her country to take on the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 champions New Zealand. The London-born player made her Vitality Roses debut in 2017 against Scotland and has been capped a further three times for her country.
Dan Ryan, High Performance Director and Head Coach at Leeds Rhinos Netball, said: “Vicki is an absolute powerhouse of an athlete and one of the most exciting young defensive talents in the country.
“She’s such a ferocious competitor, never takes a backwards step and I just love the ferocity and intensity that she brings to the court every single time.
“Her attacking style of defence is uncompromising and her ability to wear down her an opponent and come up with the ball when it’s matters the most, is so impressive.
“She is another big signing for us and is definitely going to be a huge asset to our defensive unit. I can’t wait to see her flying for intercepts and charging down court next season.”