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Whirlwind week as English star joins Swifts

13 July 2018 3:43 AM
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On Saturday night (England time) Haythornthwaite played a key role in helping Wasps down Loughborough Lightning 55-51 in the Superleague final, replicating the result against their rivals from 12 months ago.

She went out partying with the team but was in bed by midnight, such was the exhaustion she felt after the game. That was merely a taster of what was to come.

On Monday afternoon she learned the Swifts' move to sign her as a permanent replacement player for Claire O'Brien had been successful, and that she had 12 hours to pack, and present herself for check in at the airport.

Haythornthwaite met her new teammates on Thursday, had dinner with compatriot and close friend, Swifts shooter Helen Housby, and participated in Friday's captain's run.

"I knew about Claire going down and there was some conversations about we might be able to see if we can get out there," Haythornthwaite said.

"It was such a short space of time and such a short turnaround. After the final they got the ball rolling really well and ended up it all worked out and now I'm here talking to you."

O'Brien suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon last month, forcing coach Briony Akle to seek out a replacement player.

A global search unearthed the talented 25-year-old, a specialist wing attack who played in the final quarter of England's historic win over the Australian Diamonds in the final at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

She hopes to play a key role over the final four rounds of Super Netball, with the Swifts out to win their last four matches and scrape into the finals.

And with all eight Super Netball clubs in the process of compiling their playing lists for next season, Haythornthwaite's arrival in Australia could not have been timed any better.

"Our league back home's going from strength to strength so I'm really excited to see how it's going to be going from my English Superleague to this one up here."


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