Marvadene Anderson and Liana Leota sign up for Manchester Thunder

Marvadene Anderson and Liana Leota sign up for Manchester Thunder
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Liana Leota will combine coaching and playing duties for Thunder next season

Liana Leota is rejoining Manchester Thunder for the 2017 Superleague season and will be joined by 6ft 11½in Jamaican shooter Marvadene Anderson.

Thunder, last season’s Vitality Superleague runners-up, have been busy finalising the squad for the 2017 season and after confirmation of Amy Clinton earlier this week, Leota and Anderson take the squad to eight.

Both Leota and Anderson’s signings are subject to final visa approval and wing-attack Leota will combine her playing role with a coaching position that was confirmed last month.

It is a second season at the Thunderdome for Leota whose first was disrupted by injury, but her wealth of international experience for the Silver Ferns will supplement new head coach Karen Greig’s exciting young squad.

“Liana more than proved in the few games she played last season that she is still a world class player,” said Greig.

“Liana has the respect of the players and coaching team and I’m excited to see how she links with the youth around her.

“She is working hard to be back at her very best where when fit and powerful she has the ability to destroy any defence with her ability to make things just look easy.”

Marvadene Anderson will make her SUperleague debut next season

Jamaican international shooter Anderson is part of the Sunshine Girls squad that will play England in November and December and will make her Superleague debut having also played basketball at the University of Pittsburgh.

Standing at an astonishing 6ft 11½in she was once the tallest teenager in the world and will prove a major threat to opposing defences and Thunder are confident she will replace the considerable attacking prowess of Helen Housby who is heading for Australia and Ellie Cardwell who has joined new franchise the Severn Stars.

“I have done a lot of work over the summer to secure an import shooter that has the ability to change our game and have huge impact and I believe Marvadene will be more than able to do this,” said Greig.

“I have done lots of research on her and observed some video of her playing in the WNBA in America, she has the ability to move and shoot accurately from range.”

Kathryn Turner, Gabriella Marshall, Kerry Almond, Bea Skingsley, Amy Clinton and Emma Dovey have all been confirmed for the new-look 2017 Thunder squad, with the final four names expected to be confirmed over the next few days.

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