Swifts secure six of the best for 2014

The NSW Swifts have today announced the signings of Australian Diamonds defender Sharni Layton and Australian 21/U shooter Gretel Tippett.

The NSW Swifts also confirm 2013 co-captain and Diamonds centre Kimberlee Green, new Diamonds Squad member Paige Hadley, and shooters Susan Pratley and Carla Dziwoki have all committed to the Club for season 2014.

For both Green and Pratley, 2014 will be the second season of their current two-year agreement, with 30 year-old Dziwoki also signing on for a further season.

Dynamic midcourter Hadley has signed a two-year deal which will retain the talented athlete at the NSW Swifts until at least the end of the 2015 season.

On confirming the first six players for the 2014 roster, Netball NSW Chief Executive Officer Carolyn Campbell said recruitment was a real focus for the Club and supporters should be very excited about the playing list for next season and beyond.

“We fell disappointingly short of our on-court expectations over the past two seasons and have undertaken an extensive review of our high performance program,” explained Campbell.

“As a Club, we are focused on building a strong performance culture with a high quality coaching panel and playing roster.”

“The recruitment of these high calibre athletes demonstrates our determination to achieve success both now and well into the future,” concluded Campbell.

NSW Swifts Head Coach Rob Wright said the Club has a clear vision for the future, both on and off the court, and has identified players who will lead the way forward.

“It is important for us to have experience in each area of the court. In Sharni Layton and Kim Green we have two of the 2011 World Champion Diamonds, add to that the knowledge and skill of Susan Pratley in goal with her 54 Test Caps.”

“While we are focused on the here and now, we also have an eye on the future, so the recruitment of young, exciting talent like Gretel Tippett supports our drive for long-term success,” explained Wright.

Along with a World Championship gold medal, Layton has won two ANZ Championships (2010 & 2013). At 25 years-old, Layton has spent the past four seasons with the Adelaide Thunderbirds where she has become one of the most formidable defenders in the ANZ Championship.

“Sharni is an incredibly dynamic and hardworking defender who shows great leadership and presence on court,” said Wright.

“She excels under pressure and always demonstrates a fierce desire to win and is a great signing for the Swifts.”

The NSW Swifts have further strengthened its shooting stocks with the acquisition of highly sought-after shooter Gretel Tippett.

A hugely talented young sportswoman, Tippett, 20, first made a name for herself playing in the Women’s National Basketball League and achieved Australian under-17 and under-19 representation in the sport.

Two years ago, Tippett made the switch to netball and earlier this year was selected in the Australian 21/U team for the upcoming World Youth Netball Championships in Glasgow.

The younger sister of Sydney Swans key forward, Kurt and Joel, former Gold Coast Suns defender, Tippett is set to carry on the family sporting success and become a dual international when she competes in Scotland next month.

“I’m excited about the potential of Gretel, she is an exceptional talent and will undoubtedly be a future star of the game,” concluded Wright.

Further announcements on the 2014 roster will be made in due course.