Manchester Thunder – Lucie Sams

Manchester Thunder is a professional netball team in the English National Netball Super League, they have won the league three times and have a commitment develop elite young netball athletes.

To be selected for Manchester Thunder Academy you need to go through a set of trials, the first set of trials has a set of people from all different areas from the north of England this year there were over 300 girls trialling.

I was nominated by Merseyside County Netball to attend Thunder trials, this means I was through to the second set of trials. Following the second trials we had to wait for 3-5 days to find out if we were successful. I waited in anticipation for the news. I was nervous but mostly terrified in case I hadn’t made it. We found out on Wednesday 18th September 2019 that I had been successful, I had made it! I wasn’t expecting to get in after everyone else who had trialled.

I was expecting it to be similar to the Manchester Thunder Youth Academy the previous year. To my surprise it was nothing like it. Joy and excitement filled me. We attend training every week and usually do 10/15 minutes of activation (warm up), spent 45 minutes doing fitness and then the final hour doing drills. Finally, we would then do an hour of strength and conditioning.

After the first training session I realised this is it! My pathway to England and the vitality netball super league. Once every 3-4 months we have a day of fitness testing through the season. This consists of hopping drills, running and change of direction drills and the 30 15 which is similar to the bleep test. The further into the season we get the better results we should achieve.

We play different teams from around England, we have played the North East (U15s and U17s) and Leeds Rhino’s so far, we have won all our games. The picture shows me playing against the North East on Saturday 30th November 2019.


I am hoping to make it into the actual Super League Team and maybe even one day England.