New Zealand shooting sensation Maria Folau has signed up with the Adelaide Thunderbirds for the 2019 Super Netball season.
The Silver Ferns star had initially been looking at teams in Sydney and Queensland, but eventually it was decided that her skills would best suited for the struggling Adelaide team. Folau, who is 31, told reporters that she was excited to join the Thunderbirds team, having played previously for the Northern Mystics.
She said that it will be a new team, new playing styles, and new dynamics, and that it was going to be a real challenge for herself. She said that the club has a good history, and that it was opportunity to be part of the success in future. Coach Tania Obst explained that it was a significant signing, especially after a season where the Thunderbirds failed to win a single game in their recently completed season.
Folau played half of the Mystics’ games in 2018 after she moved to Sydney to be with her husband, rugby superstar Israel Folau. Netball new Zealand has given her a 12-month exemption, meaning that she is able to continue playing for the Silver Ferns in 2019 despite not having a contract under a New Zealand Premiership Team.
Folau is just one of several other international Thunderbirds signings, which also see English players Bath Cobden and Layla Guscoth under new contract, as well as Jamaican goalkeeper Shamera Sterling.
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