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Leana de Bruin to join Adelaide Thunderbirds

Leana de Bruin to join Adelaide Thunderbirds

Monday 10 July 2017

Former Silver Fern Leana de Bruin is set to play out her netball career with the Adelaide Thunderbirds.

It will be something of a swansong for the South African-born defender who had never expected to extend her career after captaining the Northern Stars in the inaugural ANZ Premiership this year. The 40-year-old was a key cog in getting the new team up-and-running in the New Zealand league where she took on a senior role both on and off the court.

“I’ve loved my time with the Northern Stars,” she said. “It was a great leadership role for me in helping to establish a new team and culture with some of New Zealand’s next generation of netballers.

“I had had thoughts of retiring but Adelaide approached me and it was an opportunity to try something different before I hang up the netball dress for good.”

Northern Stars general manager Tim Hamilton said he had seen de Bruin become an inspirational leader who was a tireless worker at every level of the game.

“Personally I have worked with Leana in three teams now – the Force, Magic and Stars so it is certainly an end of an era in New Zealand netball for one of the game greats,” he said. “We can only wish her well for her next netballing endeavour and thank her for what she accomplished in the Stars strip.”

De Bruin ended her impressive international career last year having played 138 tests – 104 for New Zealand and 34 for South Africa. She was part of New Zealand’s victorious 2003 world championship campaign and took part in five World Cups in total including one for South Africa (1999) and four in the black dress (2003, 2007, 2011, 2015). She also competed at three Commonwealth Games.

Her son Caleb will travel to Australia with her but De Bruin said it would not be a permanent move across the Tasman with plans to return to New Zealand after the netball season.

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