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Super Netball trades and free agency 2022-2023: Gabrielle Sinclair cut by Collingwood Magpies

The Firebirds are yet to confirm their new coach for 2023, but they have moved to extend one of their biggest stars for her 11th season.

Firebirds are pressing on with player announcements, confirming Gabi Simpson will be back for her 11th season, despite having yet to confirm a new coach for the 2023 season.

Simpson, 29, starred in all 14 rounds of the 2022 Super Netball season, putting on a career best performance.

Unfortunately the team fell just short of a chance to fight for the top title.

The wing defender said this year felt like “the one that got away”.

“To me it showed we’ve got the framework of something special here,” Simpson said.

“Now the challenge is to ensure we unlock the full potential of what we have and I’m really looking forward to being a part of that in 2023.”

Simpson’s netball record to date shines bright, having played in four successive grand finals for the Firebirds, with two premierships to her name.

But this former Firebirds captain and Liz Ellis Diamond award winner, isn’t done yet as she continues to learn and improve on her way to striving for further premiership glory in the purple dress.

Simpson adds to Firebirds confirmed line-up of Gretel Bueta, Donnell Wallam, Ruby Bakewell-Doran, Mia Stower, Lara Dunkley, Kim Ravaillion – leaving three spots still up for grabs.

The club is also yet to announce who will replace Megan Anderson as coach.

MAGPIES SHAKE UP THEIR ATTACK

Collingwood Magpies could be on the hunt for a goaler after confirming Gabrielle Sinclair would not be offered a new contract with the club for the 2023 season.

Sinclair joined Collingwood as a training partner in 2017, playing for the club’s Australian Netball League side, the Tasmanian Magpies.

She was elevated to the senior list in 2019 and went on to claim the starting goal attack position for the 2020 campaign. Sinclair, 28, has played 47 Super Netball games.

It could pave the way for training partner Nyah Allen to be elevated into the starting 10.

Allen took to the court on several occasions this season as Covid-19 swept through the competition, including the Round 4 win over Lightning, where she netted 11 of her 13 shots and three super shots.

Firebirds lock in rising stars

The Queensland Firebirds have locked in rising stars Donnell Wallam and Ruby Bakewell-Doran for 2023, taking the two biggest free agents in the game off the table before other clubs could snap up the Diamonds squad members.

The Firebirds signed just three members of their full-time roster to two-year deals last year when all players in the league were off-contract.

Failing to lock down the pair, who have both risen to Diamonds squad representatives after just one year in the league, would be disastrous for the Firebirds but by locking them in, they now have the nucleus of a successful squad for next season.

Wallam said re-signing was a no-brainer.

“It was an easy decision for me,” Wallam said.

While no decision has yet been made on a replacement for coach Megan Anderson, Wallam said she was comfortable re-signing, believing the Firebirds were building a strong group and culture.

“I am confident within our group that the staff has made the right decision but I think yeah, we’ve got a good culture at the club, so it’ll be smooth sailing, I think.

“The culture at the club is good and it’s something I want to be a part of, so it kind of made my decision easy.”

West Australian product Wallam made an immediate impact on arrival at the Firebirds, slotting in seamlessly for the pregnant Romelda Aiken-George and forming a winning combination in the circle with Diamonds goaler Gretel Bueta.

It’s something she hopes can get even better after the pair have a full pre-season together.

“I get to experience a full pre-season with the with the girls, so I think that’s going to be a huge win for us as well because I actually get to settle into the team before we start the season,” she said.

Bakewell-Doran also said re-signing was an easy decision after a stellar rookie year in which she went from bench player to Diamonds squad member.

“I think when you get your first contract, it’s really exciting, but to know that I’ve had a good enough season to be re-offered is just a really nice feeling, you feel very secure and wanted,” she said.

“To see how close we came (to finals) this year … taking that into next season is so exciting to know what we are actually capable of.”

As travelling reserves, both Wallam and Bakewell-Doran will head into camp with the Diamonds in Perth next week and journey to the UK with the squad to help them prepare for the Commonwealth Games.

And both are looking forward to the momentum it will give their games.

“For me, just even being a reserve player was a bonus,” Wallam said.

“I get the opportunity to be a part of the training camp and travel with the team and just experience a bit of international netball – just without the pressure of performing, I guess.”

Bakewell-Doran too, is intent on making the most of her opportunity.

“I feel like I’m such a sponge at the moment, learning so much from all the girls and from Stacey (Diamonds coach Stacey Marinkovich) … and I’ve still got so much to go,” defender Bakewell-Doran said.

“It’s such an exciting opportunity and I really do hope that I can bring back all those learnings to the Firebirds and keep growing.”

Swifts show faith in teenage star

NSW Swifts have become the second club to finalise their roster for 2023, with teenage goaler Sophie Fawns winning the last full-time contract for next season.

Fawns, who was a temporary replacement player this season after Sam Wallace suffered a season-ending injury in the opening round, beat fellow shooter Kelly Singleton for the final roster position.

The Wagga Wagga teenager made an immediate impact in the world’s toughest netball competition and coach Briony Akle said she had full faith the youngster’s rapid development would continue.

“For Sophie to perform like she did on that stage with little preparation is a real demonstration of the raw talent she possesses,” Akle said.

“I feel we have only scratched the surface with Sophie and there is still a lot of work to do. Raw talent is wasted if it isn’t matched with hard work but Sophie is a great young woman with a good attitude and she is eager to learn and develop her game.”

Meanwhile, West Coast Fever international Stacey Francis-Bayman has announced that she will not return to the club in 2023, drawing a close to her career after the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

The England Roses defender was a member of the Fever’s premiership side and has played for the club since the inception of Super Netball in 2017.

Fever have yet to finalise their squad but will retain most members of their premiership side.

Firebirds axe fan favourite

After six seasons and just over 50 games, Jemma Mi Mi has played her final game in a purple dress after being axed by the Queensland Firebirds.

Off contract at the end of the season, Mi Mi was not offered a new deal for 2023, with the club making the announcement on social media on Monday morning.

“Netball Queensland would like to sincerely thank and acknowledge Jemma Mi Mi for her contribution to the Queensland Firebirds both on and off the court for the past six seasons,” a statement said.

“The decision to not offer Jemma a new contract hasn’t been made lightly. We are grateful for all she has shared with her purple family and wish her all the very best in 2023 and beyond.”

Until this season, Mi Mi was the only First Nations player in the competition.

She was joined at the Firebirds by goaler Donnell Wallam this season.

Wallam is also off-contract, having been offered a one-year deal as a temporary replacement player for Romelda Aiken, who is on maternity leave.

Mi Mi spoke to News Corp earlier this year about her determination to be known as an elite netballer, rather than just an Indigenous player.

The 26-year-old turned in some outstanding performances this season, none better than in the club’s stunning First Nations round upset of premiers West Coast Fever in Perth.

But she has also battled calf and achilles injuries in the past two seasons.

Now a free agent, Mi Mi can be picked up by any club with space on their list, with the free agency trade period starting today, although few clubs have midcourt players off contract for 2023.

Defender locked in by Swifts

NSW Swifts have shored up another defender ahead of the 2023 season with Teigan O’Shannassy committed to the club for next year.

A Manly Warringah junior, O’Shannassy earnt a full-time contract with the Swifts for 2022 and has been re-signed by coach Briony Akle.

“To see Teigan really settle at the elite level is wonderful for her, and us as a team,” Akle said.

“She had a tough time with injuries in recent years but over the past 12 months Teigan has demonstrated that she belongs at this level and can go toe-to-toe with the world’s best.

O’Shannassy is now looking to take her game to the next level.

“I have loved getting the opportunity to be a part of this Club and making my debut in Round 3 was a moment I’ll never forget,” O’Shannassy said.

“In that game we wore our yellow heritage dress and when you think of the great defenders

Swifts’ ‘good egg’ secures new deal

Premiership-winning defensive midcourter Allie Smith has re-signed with NSW Swifts for the 2023 Super Netball season.

Smith, who won a premiership with Melbourne Vixens in 2020, made the move to Sydney in 2022 and played in all 14 regular-season games this year as the seven-time premiers made a late charge for a fourth consecutive finals appearance after an injury and Covid-affected campaign.

Swifts head coach Briony Akle said Smith had proven to be an excellent fit.

“I think anyone watching Allie’s performances in the back-end of the season could see that she had really found her groove, and she was a standout in us pushing the Fever to the brink and then getting past the Firebirds,” Akle said.

Smith said looking elsewhere to play in 2023 was never an option.

“I have loved every minute of my time at the Swifts so far,” she said.

Free agency mayhem set to start

-Emma Greenwood

The external focus might be on the finals but backroom staff at all eight Super Netball clubs have spent the past week bunkered down to make tough calls, with lists of their contracted players submitted to Netball Australia on Friday.

The free agent list will be distributed to clubs next week, with franchises able to sign any off-contract players from July 4, the day after the grand final.

With the league in the first season of a two-year Collective Players Agreement (CPA) though, there will not be mass movement.

Most athletes signed two-year deals last year when every player in the league came off contract and the majority of clubs will experience little movement.

The Giants became the first club to lock in their side for 2023 when they re-signed Amy Sligar, Matisse Letherbarrow and Lauren Moore for next year, while fellow finalists the Vixens (one player off contract) and Fever (two) will also retain the majority of their sides.

The Queensland Firebirds announced the resignation of coach Megan Anderson during the week, while English international Eboni Usoro-Brown — who had only agreed to a one-year deal — headed home on Friday to prepare for the Commonwealth Games with the England Roses.

Adelaide Thunderbirds are also reviewing their list, with goaler Lenize Potgieter not offered another deal for 2023.

The Thunderbirds need to make some big decisions on their attack end, with fellow shooter Tippah Dwan also off contract, along with three other teammates.

Coach Tania Obst’s position is also understood to be under review, with the mentor the only Super Netball coach not re-signed for at last two seasons last year.

Scroll down to see the full list of Super Netball players and their contract status.

Super Netball contracts

ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS

Contracted until 2023: Shamera Sterling, LaTanya Wilson, Hannah Petty, Matilda Garrett, Georgie Horjus; Off contract: Tippah Dwan, Ellie McDonald, Maisie Nankivell,

Tayla Williams;

Outs: Lenize Potgieter (free agent)

Coach: Tania Obst – off contract

COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES

Contracted until 2023: Sophie Garbin, Shimona Nelson, Kelsey Browne, Molly Jovic,

Ash Brazill, Geva Mentor, Jodie-Ann Ward; Off contract: Jacqui Newton, Gabby Sinclair,

Maggie Lind.

Coach: Nicole Richardson – 2023

GIANTS NETBALL

Contracted until 2023: Jo Harten, Sophie Dwyer, April Brandley, Jamie-Lee Price,

Amy Parmenter, Maddie Hay, Tilly McDonell; Off contract: Amy Sligar (re-signed 2023),

Matisse Letherbarrow (re-signed 2023), Lauren Moore (re-signed 2023).

Coach: Julie Fitzgerald – 2023

MELBOURNE VIXENS

Contracted until 2023: Liz Watson, Kate Moloney, Jo Weston, Mwai Kumwenda, Kiera Austin, Kate Eddy, Emily Mannix, Rahni Samason, Hannah Mundy; Off contract: Olivia Lewis.

Coach: Simone McKinnis – 2025

NSW SWIFTS

Contracted until 2023: Maddy Proud, Paige Hadley, Sarah Klau, Maddy Turner, Sam Wallace, Helen Housby, Tayla Fraser, Allie Smith, Teigan O’Shannassy, Sophie Fawns; Off contract: Kelly Singleton.

Coach: Briony Akle – 2023

QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS

Contracted until 2023: Gretel Bueta, Lara Dunkley, Kim Ravaillion, Ruby Bakewell-Doran, Donnell Wallam; Off contract: Gabi Simpson, Kim Jenner, Romelda Aiken-George, Mia Stower.

Outs: Jemma Mi Mi (free agent), Eboni Usoro-Brown (returned to England)

Coach: Megan Anderson – resigned

SUNSHINE COAST LIGHTNING

Contracted until 2023: Steph Wood, Cara Koenen, Tara Hinchliffe, Mahalia Cassidy, Karla Pretorius, Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Reilley Batcheldor, Laura Scherian, Kate Walsh; Off contract:

Annie Miller, Maddie Hinchliffe.

Coach: Kylee Byrne – 2023

WEST COAST FEVER

Contracted until 2023: Jhaniele Fowler, Courtney Bruce, Rudi Ellis, Sunday Aryang, Jess Anstiss, Sasha Glasgow, Alice Teague-Neeld, Verity Charles; Off contract: Stacey Francis-Bayman, Emma Cosh.

Coach: Dan Ryan – 2023

Originally published as Super Netball trades 2022: Every team, every player, how your team stacks up for next season

https://www.codesports.com.au/netball/super-netball-trades-2022-every-team-every-player-how-your-team-stacks-up-for-next-season/news-story/d07d97547d461d3f78e1f590a2a88119?nk=e578ae4c81b384b61adbe67a629f1bf1-1657176368 Super Netball trades and free agency 2022-2023: Gabrielle Sinclair cut by Collingwood Magpies

Nate Jones

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