Adelaide Thunderbirds

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Adelaide Thunderbirds
Adelaide Thunderbirds.jpg
Franchise information
Years active 1997–present
Based in Adelaide, Australia
Region South Australia
Main venue Priceline Stadium (3,200)
Titanium Security Arena (8,000)
Main sponsor Beach Energy
Head coach Dan Ryan
Asst coach Jane Searle
Captain Erin Bell
ANZ Championship
Titles won Two (2010, 2013)
Best finish Champions (2010, 2013)
2016 finish 10th
5th (Australian Conference)
Kit body thinwhitesides.svg
Team colours
Team colours
Team colours

The Adelaide Thunderbirds are an Australian netball team based in Adelaide that compete in the Australian Suncorp Super Netball. 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 ANZ Championship. After the disbanding of the trans-tasman league, Adelaide joined the new look Suncorp Super Netball. 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 currently coached by Dan Ryan. The team was captained by veteran wing defence Renae Hallinan until the conclusion of the 2015 season after which she announced a year off netball due to pregnancy. The current captain is Erin Bell, a two-time netball world championship gold-medalist and multiple ANZ premier. The Home games in the ANZ Championship are usually played at Priceline Stadium in Adelaide. The team uniform currently is based on pink and white.


Commonwealth Bank Trophy era[edit]

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 Priceline 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[edit]

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.[1] 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.[2]

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.[3] 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 had 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 had an extension to name their 12th contracted player although there was talk that Jamaican International Janelle Fowler could be the late addition to the team, it ended up being Carla Borrego.


2017 Adelaide Thunderbirds roster
Players Coaching staff
Nat. Name Position(s) DoB Height
England Ama Agbeze GD, GK 12-11-1982 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Australia Karyn Bailey GS 28-07-1986 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)
Australia Erin Bell GA, GS, WA 30-04-1987 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Australia Emily Burgess WD, C 1996
England Jade Clarke WD, C, WA 17-10-1983 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
Australia Jane Cook GS 29-10-1997 1.99 m (6 ft 6 in)
Jamaica Malysha Kelly GD, GK 14-01-1990
Australia Chelsea Locke C, WA, GA 08-06-1988 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Australia Hannah Petty C, WA 17-05-1997 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Australia Fiona Themann GD, GK 18-04-1990 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Head coach
  • Dan Ryan

Manager: Kathy Rogers
Physiotherapist: Scott Smith

  • (c) – Captain
  • (cc) – Co-captain
  • (vc) – Vice-captain
  • Injured or on maternity leave – Injury / maternity leave
  • (TRP) – Temporary Replacement Player
Player profiles: Team website Last updated: 12 May 2017

Competitive record[edit]

Commonwealth Bank Trophy[edit]

ANZ Championship[edit]

Suncorp Super Netball[edit]



Home games are usually played at Priceline 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.

Team colours[edit]

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 2011, the Thunderbirds' main colours became just pink and white.



In 2015 Priceline was named as Premier Partner of the Adelaide Thunderbirds.


External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Melbourne Phoenix
Commonwealth Bank Trophy Champions
Succeeded by
Melbourne Phoenix
Preceded by
Melbourne Vixens
ANZ Championship Winners
Succeeded by
Queensland Firebirds
Preceded by
Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic
ANZ Championship Winners
Succeeded by
Melbourne Vixens