Leeds Rhinos Netball have secured the signature of Vitality Roses player Vicki Oyesola for the 2022 Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) season.
Oyesola, 23, joined the Rhinos last season and was an ever-present during their debut campaign, making 20 appearances and featuring in the Finals Weekend.
The versatile defender now has six caps since making her Roses debut in 2017 and this year was selected for by England Netball for the Vitality Roses programme ahead of the 2021-22 international season and was part of the squad for the recent New Zealand tour.
Speaking about her new deal Oyesola said: “I’m really excited to be continuing with the Rhinos for another season. I thought that we built a great culture so I am looking forward to continuing that. We made a good foundation last season so we have got something to build off and I think it’s really important that we retain what we can from last season to help with the momentum for next year.
“The team culture was something that influenced my decision to stay, we were well on our way to doing something big last season and I think a few more months and hours of training together we will be able to create something special. Making the Finals weekend was a highlight last season, particularly given everything we went through as a team.”
The former Saracens Mavericks and Loughborough Lightning player, who won the VNSL Young Player of the Season Award in her debut season, recently graduated from Loughborough University with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering. The Londoner says her focus this year will be on her netball.
“I graduated University in the summer so for now I will be concentrating on my netball with England and the Rhinos. I’ve had a year in Leeds but not had a chance to really experience the Leeds and Yorkshire fans, so we are all excited to be bringing Superleague netball back to Yorkshire for the fans to enjoy.”
Dan Busfield, Leeds Rhinos Netball’s Franchise Director, said: “To have a player with Vicki’s experience, talent and understanding of the game commit her future to the Rhinos is significant for our club.
“She was outstanding last season and at the core of our team and we can’t wait to see more from her in 2022.”
Maggie Birkinshaw, assistant coach for Rhinos Netball added: “Vicki is an eye catching defender with an impressive aerial ability. She is ridiculously quick coming onto the ball and has an affinity for grabbing the loose ball.
“She is speedy and quick footed and never lets up on her opponent with her constant pressure and is capable of providing a defensive block in the air and at ground level. She’s able to shadow mark her opposition if needed but can also provide that burst of speed to fire the ball down court. I’ve been really impressed with her and can’t wait to work with her again.”
Oyesola becomes Leeds Rhinos’ second signing of the 2022 Signing Window after Rhea Dixon. You can see the Rhinos squad as it develops here.