Loughborough Lightning confirm three new arrivals and Aussie coaching addition

Loughborough Lightning confirm three new arrivals and Aussie coaching addition
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England U21 Vicky Oyesola has joined Loughborough from Herfordshire Mavericks

Vicky Oyesola has joined Loughborough Lightning while Rebekah Airey and Brittany Coleman have re-signed for the 2017 Vitality Superleague season.

Last week, Lightning confirmed that Peace Proscovia was rejoining the squad for the next two years, while Beth Cobden, Hannah Joseph and Natalie Panagarry were the first trio of names confirmed for the new season.

With 12-player rosters and a 10-team Superleague competition, 2017 promises to be an exciting campaign and Lightning’s squad continues to take shape with the latest announcement.

England U21 defenders Airey and Oyesola will bolster the back-court, while Coleman adds strength in the shooting department having come through the Lightning and East Midlands youth development programmes to make her debut in last year’s competition.

Airey has signed up for a third season with the team and will challenge for a starting place with England captain Ama Agbeze heading for Australian and New Zealand.

Oyesola is the latest new arrival having enjoyed a breakthrough season with Superleague semi-finalists Hertfordshire Mavericks last year and as a first year Mechanical Engineering student at Loughborough University. She will be competing for Loughborough University as well as adding to the Lightning defensive options.

“I am excited about the opportunity to work with three players who are undoubtedly the future of English Netball and the Super League,” said head coach Karen Atkinson.

“All three of them are working towards the WYNC in Botswana next summer and I believe they are ready to take on the challenge and prove themselves at Super League level.

“I am particularly excited about the progress East-Midlands player Brittany Coleman has made over the past 12 months.  She has committed whole-heartedly to the full-time programme in Loughborough, studying at Loughborough College, and the improvements have been fantastic. 

“Having now relocated to Loughborough, I am looking forward to seeing how much she continues to progress this season, playing with and against the best in the country, week in, week out.”

Rebekah Airey is one of the three latest names to be confirmed for Loughborough’s 2017 season

As well as the trio of confirmed recruits for the new season, Lightning have confirmed that former Australia Diamonds’ captain Vicki Wilson is to spend three weeks with the Lightning squad and coaching team as cover for Atkinson who will take a short period of maternity leave.

One of the finest shooters of her generation, Wilson has made the transition to coaching having been assistant coach for New Zealand and head coach for ANZ franchise Queensland Firebirds and she will link up with Lightning in January ahead of the Superleague’s season start in February.

“I am extremely delighted that Vicki will be joining us for three weeks in late January, early February of 2017,” added Atkinson.

“Her main focus will be to work with our shooting circle and feeders and build their knowledge, understanding and consistency. Vicki was renowned for her accuracy under the post and ability to work the circle with exceptional court craft and game smarts.”

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