KEY DEFENDER: Sunshine Coast Lighting's Phumza Maweni. Picture: Patrick Woods.
KEY DEFENDER: Sunshine Coast Lighting's Phumza Maweni. Picture: Patrick Woods.

Boost for Lightning as Maweni cleared to return to Australia

NETBALL: Key Sunshine Coast player Phumza Maweni is one of five international Super Netball athletes who have been granted government permission to return to Australia.

The 35-year-old and Thunderbirds player Lenize Potgieter and Shadine Van der Merwe will come back from South Africa while Swifts’ Nat Haythornthwaite and Thunderbirds’ Layla Guscoth will travel from England, where they have been during the COVID-19 lockdown.

They’re bound to return after the national league successfully sought exemptions from the Australian Border Force. They will spend 14 days in quarantine when they arrive.

Maweni’s presence at the Lightning should be a significant boost to the two-time champions.

The 186cm goalkeeper proved a force in her first year in the competition last season, when she proved a handy replacement for Geva Mentor.

She played every game for the team and finished the campaign third in defensive rebounds (1.9 per game) and fourth in deflections (5.1 per game).

“The league is excited that our international athletes … will be back on Australian soil soon and we’re confident we’ll see our teams back to some type of group training in the near future,” Suncorp Super Netball CEO Chris Symington said in a press release.

The league has issued strict training guidelines to all clubs, when they return to training.

It’s not yet known what the season will look like.

“There are still several moving parts we’re working through in confirming detail of the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball season and we have many people working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure this is locked away as soon as possible.

“We appreciate our fans are patiently waiting for news on when and how the 2020 season will happen and we hope to be announcing further information around this by the end of the week.”



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