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Gerrard signs with Thunderbirds

Ben Carbonaro
Sunday December 16, 2007

In one of the biggest recruiting moves in the ANZ Championship, Australian defender Mo’onia Gerrard has signed with the Adelaide Thunderbirds.

Netball South Australia yesterday announced that Australia’s best player at the Netball World Championships had signed with the Thunderbirds and joins English defender Geva Mentor in what will be one of the competition’s best defensive combinations.

Gerrard admitted that she learnt a lot playing under the now retired Liz Ellis and also said that the move to Adelaide will be made easier by the rapport she was with some of the players.

“I have learned so much playing alongside (just retired Australian captain) Liz Ellis both at the Swifts and in the national side,” Gerrard told the Netball South Australia website.

“The move to Adelaide will be easier as I know so many of the girls, and have played with them in national sides right through the ranks – my netball career virtually went hand-in-hand with Laura von Bertouch.”

Thunderbirds coach Jane Woodlands is excited to have Gerrard sign with the Thunderbirds and said that goal defence was the main position that the South Australian team recruited for.

“Goal defence was our priority recruiting target, and to achieve recruiting who we consider the world’s best in that position is the optimal outcome for us.”

Woodlands said Gerrard did everything possible to impress both her and other members of the coaching staff.

“After meeting with her to discuss the possibilities of her playing future, she convinced our recruiting team that she was absolutely not only the right athlete, but the right person to be an integral part of our program.”

Gerrard will arrive in Adelaide on January 14 next year.

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