Cover Image: Aliesha Vicars
Updated as at 930am (AEST), 30 November
Not since the inception of the competition has there been so much commentary around the start of a Suncorp Super Netball ‘signing season’. With all 80 athletes off contract as of 30 September, and a new club joining the league, many punters are tipping this free agency period to have as much movement as the infamous 2017 signing period. It is tantalising to speculate where these players are heading in 2024, particularly since we have already seen big names confirm they are not returning to their 2023 clubs.
With all the rumours circulating, it can be hard to know what is true and what is mere speculation. So, as always, Netball Scoop is here to help you keep track of who is confirmed to be staying, who is switching clubs, and who is unsigned.
What we know so far
The Thunderbirds will have a new-look front end in 2024, with both El Cardwell and Tippah Dwan departing the club after one and two seasons respectively. These revelations are a big let down for fans who were still riding the success of 2023. TBirds will also be looking for new leadership in the midcourt with after vice-captain Maisie Nankivell also announced her departure.
2023 Final Placing: Premiers
Outs: Eleanor Cardwell (to unconfirmed), Tippah Dwan (to unconfirmed), Maisie Nankivell (to unconfirmed)
Coach: Tania Obst
Assistant Coach: Cathy Fellows
Former Collingwood Magpies
2023 final placing: 8th
The confirmed movements:
Ash Brazill – retired
Geva Mentor – to Leeds Rhinos, Netball Super League UK
Jacqui Newton – to Cardiff Dragons, Netball Super League UK
Zoe Davies (training partner) – to Leeds Rhinos, Netball Super League UK
Kelsey Browne – retired
Coach: Nicole Richardson
With April Brandley retiring and Lauren Moore and Amy Parmenter moving to other clubs in 2024, Giants are in desperate need of strong defensive power. Collectively Giants took 99 intercepts in 2023, which was the second-highest total behind the Thunderbirds. However, 49 of those gains went to the departing athletes. Giants were also severely let down when it came to rebounds, only gathering 61 across the court which was almost 20 rebounds below the next lowest team. So, Giants will need to secure circle defenders who can cleanly get up for those missed shots and another athlete who can take the challenge to the midcourt or pocket balls.
2023 final placing: 6th
Outs: April Brandley (retired), Lauren Moore (to unconfirmed), Amy Parmenter (to unconfirmed)
Coach: Julie Fitzgerald (locked in until 2025)
Assistant Coach: unknown
How do you replace an athlete like Liz Watson? That is going to be the challenge for the Vixens coaches this signing season. There is little doubt that Hannah Mundy is ready for more court time, but with any team she is on, Watson brings leadership, a calm head and impressive court smarts. That only comes with a decade’s worth of experience.
2023 final placing: 4th
Outs: Liv Lewis (to unconfirmed) Rahni Samason (to Robinhood Stars, ANZ Championship), Liz Watson (to unconfirmed)
Assistant Coach: Unknown
Swifts’ coach, Briony Akle has a tough decision to make: who gets the GS bib? Romleda Aiken-George or Sam Wallace. Both are excellent shooters who combine seamlessly with Helen Housby and Sophie Fawns. Aiken-George’s move to the Swifts appeared to reinvigorate her love of the game, and her combination with Housby was potent. However, the Wallace/Housby combination is a premiership-winning duo that will surely fire again once Wallace is match-ready. It will be a shame to see either athlete leave the Swifts, but it would be worse for one of them to warm the bench all season.
2023 final placing: Runners up (and minor premiers)
Outs: Tayla Fraser (to unknown), Kelea Iongi (training partner) – to Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse, ANZ Championship
Coach: Briony Akle (locked in until 2026)
Assistant Coach: Natalie Avellino
The new kids on the block have arrived. According to head coach Tracey Neville, the Mavericks will recruit athletes who want to take the next step in their journey. They want athletes who are either ‘established or want to be established and are on the fringe of being something great.’ Sounds promising.
Coach: Tracey Neville
Assistant Coach: Nicole Richardson
Sunshine Coast Lightning
The first athlete to really fall victim to all the uncertainty around the 2024 season is Karla Pretorius. According to a club statement, the foundation Lightning player has put her family first and elected to stay in South Africa next season. Her departure leaves a gaping hole in their defence as she is an athlete capable of seamlessly swinging between GD and WD. Her uncanny ability to read play and collect flying intercepts will be hard to replace. 2023 marks the end of Scherian in Lightning colours. The nuggety WA was not offered a contract for next year, ending her seven year run with the side.
2023 final placing: 5th
Outs: Karla Pretorius (opted out of the 2024 season), Laura Scherian (not offered 2024 contract)
Coach: Belinda Reynolds (signed a two-year contract for 2023 and 2024)
Assistant Coach: Jenny Brazel
For Firebirds fans, the news is probably not what they were hoping. Superstar goal attack Gretel Bueta has confirmed that she will not be back in purple for the 2024 season. After the team has also notified Mia Stower that she will not be receiving a contract, the question remains: who will be donning the bib and joining Donnell Wallam in the goal circle? The next challenge is what to do with the defence end? There is little doubt that Bulley will want to keep Ruby Bakewell-Doran, but will she keep 2023 debutant Remi Kamo? The new combination was firing nicely by the end of the 2023 season, but will a more established goal keeper be better for the side in 2024?
2023 Final Placing: 7th
Outs: Gretel Bueta (sabbatical – family reasons), Gabi Simpson (not offered 2024 contract), Mia Stower (not offered 2024 contract), Ash Unie (not offered 2024 contract)
Coach: Bec Bulley (signed a four-year contract from 2023 until 2026)
Assistant coach: Lauren Brown
West Coast Fever
Fever are unofficially in a rebuilding phase. The Westerners have lost four athletes to rival clubs and have opted not to sign wing attack / goal attack Emma Cosh in 2023. Of biggest concern for the 2022 premiership winners is rebuilding their defence end. This won’t be easy as Bruce, Jenner and Ellis collectively have over 150 games worth of experience. A surprise announcement prior to the squads being named was the retirement of Verity Simmons. With 159 national league games under her belt it will ceratinly be a different prospect without Simmons running the middle of the court.
2023 final placing: 3rd
Outs: Courtney Bruce (to unconfirmed), Emma Cosh (not offered 2024 contract), Rudi Ellis (to unconfirmed), Sasha Glasgow (to unconfirmed), Kim Jenner (to unconfirmed), Verity Simmons (switched to West Coast Eagles, AFLW)
Coach: Dan Ryan (locked in until 2026),
Assistant Coach: Sara Francis-Bayman
These are the athletes who have not signed with their 2023 clubs (except Collingwood athletes, refer to the list above) and whose next step is yet to be confirmed.