Natalie Haythornthwaite has left Wasps Netball to join Australian side New South Wales Swifts for next season.
The move will end her two-year stay at Wasps, which has seen the Wing Attack/Goal Attack be a star player in the back-to-back Vitality Netball Superleague title winning squads.
Haythornthwaite joined the Suncorp Super Netball League side for the final four games of last season - after impressing international audiences with her performances as part of the England Roses’ Commonwealth Games Gold Medal winning team.
After starring during her short stint at NSW Swifts, the Sydney-based franchise have moved to acquire her talents for next season.
Haythornthwaite, who is a fans’ favourite with black-and-gold supporters, said she is proud to have been part of the first two years at Wasps Netball and will continue to follow the club from Down Under.
“Wasps have been an incredible club to be part of for the last two years,” she said. “I feel extremely lucky to have played for such an amazing club and made so many great friendships during my time at Wasps.
“Wasps have been a huge part of my life over the last two years and I’ve really enjoyed my netball whilst being there.
“I’m really excited for my next chapter of netball overseas with the New South Wales Swifts. It’s an exciting challenge which I know everyone at Wasps will be supporting me with. “I wish everyone at Wasps the best of luck for the 2019 season – I’ll be watching!”
Wasps Head Coach Mel Mansfield is disappointed to lose a quality player like Haythornthwaite but knows it is an incredible opportunity for her and one that she has to take.
“Of course we are disappointed that Natalie won’t be in black-and-gold again this season but it’s a choice we fully support her in,” she said. “We have been in constant dialogue with Natalie since we won the Superleague Grand Final in July.
“Everyone knew she would go out to Australia and impress, but we still held an offer open for her until we knew for certain that NSW Swifts would look to sign her.
“It is a fantastic opportunity in the next steps of Natalie’s development as a player. It is just rewards for the game winning performances she regularly displayed for us and the England Roses and we wish her every success.”