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Vitality Netball Superleague: Alice Harvey and Jess Haynes commit to Loughborough Lightning for 2022 season

The young defenders join Beth Cobden, Ella Clark, Hannah Joseph and Natalie Panagarry as the first players to re-commit to the title holders; the Vitality Netball Superleague signing window closes on October 15

Alice Harvey (Image credit - Morgan Harlow)
Image: Alice Harvey will return to Lightning for the 2022 season (Image credit - Morgan Harlow)

Alice Harvey and Jess Haynes will both be part of Loughborough Lightning's Vitality Netball Superleague squad for the 2022 season.

The young defenders join a quartet of Vitality Roses - Beth Cobden, Ella Clark, Hannah Joseph and Natalie Panagarry - in returning to the title holders.

Harvey was an instrumental component in Lightning's success last year, learning and growing under the guide of Superleague stalwart Sam May.

With May's retirement and Harvey's inclusion in the England U21s programme, she said she is aiming to take her game to the next level next season.

Panagarry leads quartet of key Lightning returnees
Panagarry leads quartet of key Lightning returnees

Loughborough Lightning's title-winning captain Natalie Panagarry leads a quartet of returnees ahead of the 2022 Vitality Netball Superleague season.

"I'm really excited to re-sign for Lightning because we finished the 2021 season in such a good place," she said. "I'm looking forward to continuing to building on that with the group this year.

"I hope to develop new relationships with the defensive unit and continue learning and developing my own game."

Lightning's head coach Sara Francis-Bayman is eager to see Harvey back on court.

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Francis-Bayman said: "Alice had a fantastic season last year and I know she is ambitious to make the GK bib her own this season. Every year we see such huge growth in her game that it's exciting to see what she's capable of in 2022."

Jess Haynes (Image credit - Ben Lumley)
Image: Jess Haynes will step up into the Superleague squad in 2022 (Image credit - Ben Lumley)

Joining Harvey in Lightning's defensive-end will be Haynes, who made her mark on the competition late in the 2021 season.

When injury struck Lightning, Haynes was called up from the U21s squad and within a matter of days made her first appearance on court.

She secured a turnover minutes into her debut and has been rewarded in 2022 with a place in the Superleague side from day one next season.

"Jess came into the squad strongly when needed last season," Francis-Bayman said.

"Her competitiveness will push all the defenders to be on top form whilst she brings positivity to everything she does."

Balancing her time between her studies at Nottingham Trent University and training with both the U21 and Vitality Netball Superleague squads, Haynes is looking forward to the new season.

"I am so excited to be returning to Lightning off the back of such an amazing season last year," she said.

"Being involved in such a positive environment, both in training and competition, allows a strong team to go and win. I can't wait to see where the season will take us."

The announcement of Harvey and Haynes confirms six of Lightning's 15 spots for the 2022 season. The Vitality Netball Superleague signing window closes on October 15.

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