|ANZ Championship team|
|Based in||Adelaide, Australia|
|Main venue||Netball SA Stadium|
|Main sponsor||Fairmont Homes|
|Head coach||Jane Woodlands-Thompson|
|Asst coaches||Dan Ryan
|Captain||Natalie von Bertouch|
|Best finish||Champions (2010, 2013)|
The Adelaide Thunderbirds are an Australian netball team based in Adelaide that compete in the trans-Tasman ANZ Championship. The Thunderbirds were formed as one of the foundation teams of the Commonwealth Bank Trophy (CBT), previously the premier netball league in Australia, which was contested from 1997–2007. After the retirement of the CBT, the Thunderbirds were one of five Australian franchises included in the new ANZ Championship. To date, the Thunderbirds have won two CBT titles (1998, 1999) and two ANZ Championship titles (2010, 2013); in addition, they have finished in the top three placings throughout their competitive history.
The Thunderbirds are coached by Jane Woodlands-Thompson, who was first appointed in 2008 for the inaugural season of the ANZ Championship. The team is captained by veteran midcourter Natalie von Bertouch. Home games in the ANZ Championship are usually played at Netball SA Stadium in Adelaide. The team uniform is pink with white and black, after a team rebranding in 2010.
Commonwealth Bank Trophy era
The Thunderbirds became South Australia's only team in the competition after the axing of the Adelaide Ravens in 2003, and were based out of Netball SA Stadium in the Adelaide suburb of Mile End. Until 2006 The Thunderbirds were coached by Margaret Angove and captained by Peta Scholz and Laura von Bertouch. In 2007 the coach was Tanya Obst with a leadership group of comprising captain Laura von Bertouch, Natalie von Bertouch, Fiona Pointon and Kristen Hughes. Their team colours in the CBT were silver, pink and blue.
The Thunderbirds were one of the strongest teams in the CBT during that competition's existence, in its early years possibly the strongest, winning the competition twice in that period. While the club slipped to a degree in later years due to increased competition from the Melbourne Phoenix and Sydney Swifts, it has still never finished lower than third overall.
In 2006, the team's forward line of Hughes, Medhurst, and the von Bertouch sisters were developing in the Australian squad. The end of the season was disappointing, perhaps partly explained by the sidelining of Scholz (who was in top form) due to pregnancy, when they first dropped a game to the seventh placed Hunter Jaegers, and then were decimated by the Sydney Swifts in the major semifinal and the grand final.
ANZ Championship era
The Thunderbirds are South Australia's representative in the ANZ Championship. The club announced a new sponsor and a new look for the 2008 season, aligning themselves with the Port Adelaide Football Club in a sponsorship deal in which the Thunderbirds wear Port Adelaide's colours of Black, White, Teal and Silver. The Thunderbirds recruited former Melbourne Phoenix coach Lisa Alexander to their coaching staff, plus Australian and former Sydney Swifts player Mo'onia Gerrard and English International representative Geva Mentor to their playing squad.
In the first three years of the ANZ Championship, the Thunderbirds have reached the finals stage. In 2008, they progressed to the preliminary final before being defeated by the Magic in New Zealand. The following year they defeated the Magic to contest the grand final, which the Thunderbirds lost to the Melbourne Vixens. In 2010, the Thunderbirds finished second after the regular season, but defeated minor premiers the New South Wales Swifts to book themselves a grand final at home. For the 2010 grand final, the Thunderbirds moved to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, which had a seating capacity of 10,000. Tickets for the 2010 final sold out in 12 minutes. In front of a crowd of 9,300, the Adelaide Thunderbirds defeated the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic by 52–42 to claim the 2010 title. Before the 2011 ANZ Championships the team lost key players including shooter Kate Beveridge and defender Geva Mentor, both to the Melbourne Vixens as well as defender Mo'onia Gerrard to the New South Wales Swifts. The team had a disappointing start to the season with several consecutive losses but managed to find form late in the season to finish a respectable 6th place. For the 2012 season the team has retained the core of the playing group while also gaining internationals Renae Hallinan from the Melbourne Vixens and Rebecca Bully from the New South Wales. The team has an extension to name their 12th contracted player although there is talk that Jamaican International Janelle Fowler could be the late addition to the team.
2014 Adelaide Thunderbirds roster
Manager: Catherine Foreman
|Player profiles: Team website • ANZC website||Last updated: 31 March 2013|
- 1997: 2nd
- 1998: 1st
- 1999: 1st
- 2000: 2nd
- 2001: 2nd
- 2002: 2nd
- 2003: 3rd
- 2004: 3rd
- 2005: 3rd
- 2006: 2nd
- 2007: 3rd
- 2008: 3rd
- 2009: 2nd
- 2010: 1st
- 2011: 6th
- 2012: 4th
- 2013: 1st
Home games are usually played at Netball SA Stadium in Adelaide, which has a seating capacity of 3,200. Some matches have been played at alternate venues, including the 8,000 seat Adelaide Arena, and the 10,000 seat Adelaide Entertainment Centre
With its greater spectator capacity, the Entertainment Centre hosted the ANZ Championship Grand Final in both 2010 and 2013. In 2010 the Thunderbirds defeated the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic 52-42 in front of 9,300 fans, while the 2013 decider, won 50-48 by the Thunderbirds over the Queensland Firebirds, attracted 9,000 fans.
The Thunderbirds adopted primarily silver during their years in the Commonwealth Bank Trophy, from 1997–2007. When the team joined the ANZ Championship, they changed their playing colours to teal with silver and black, in line with the colours of the Port Adelaide Power AFL team. After 2010, the Thunderbirds changed again, this time adopting pink with white and black.
After a rebranding of the team in 2010, Fairmont Homes was announced as the major sponsor for the Adelaide Thunderbirds.
- Adelaide Thunderbirds - South Australia’s ANZ Championship Team
- Adelaide Thunderbirds
- Larkin, Steve (2010-07-11). "Thunderbirds beat Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic to win ANZ netball Championship Grand Final". The Advertiser. Retrieved 2010-11-12.
- Partland, Warren (2010-11-10). "Thunderbirds unveil new look". The Advertiser. Retrieved 2010-11-12.
|Commonwealth Bank Trophy Champions
|ANZ Championship Winners