Sport In The City: Manchester Thunder

Originally featured in The Mancunion

In the spotlight this week: Manchester Thunder (Netball)

Well… what is it?

Manchester Thunder, founded in 2005, are a netball team currently competing in the Netball Superleague made up of the top eight netball teams throughout England and Wales. After a 3rd place finish in the 2015 Superleague Season, having overcome rivals Yorkshire Jets to crucially win their 3rd place playoff 55-49, Manchester Thunder’s next home game is only their second of the current league campaign, which kicked off at the end of January.

A first win of the season came at home against Team Northumbria and their comfortable 59-37 victory was followed by a consecutive win, this time over the Celtic Dragons with a score line of 72-52. Manchester Thunder are currently managed by Dan Ryan who has previously worked as assistant coach at Adelaide Thunderbirds and took over the side in June 2015 after Gary Neville’s younger and Phil Neville’s twin sister Tracey Neville left her position as manager to become the manager of the England National Team. And although it is still too early to say whether Manchester Thunder can continue their good form of last season and progress higher in the table, recent results would certainly suggest they’re determined and more than prepared to be battling at the top of the Superleague standings.

How do I get there?

Nicknamed the ‘Manchester Thunderdome’, Manchester Thunder play all of their games at Wright Robinson Sports College on Abbey Hey Lane in Manchester. With regards to public transport I would recommend the train as the best method of transportation to and from the venue. From Manchester Piccadilly station, catch a train to either one of Gorton or Fairfield, as the Wright Robinson complex is situated centrally to both and leaving a short walk away from either train station. Trains from Manchester Piccadilly run frequently and direct to both stations without any need for a change and should you struggle to find your way after disembarking the train, head in the direction of Wright Robinson Sports College which includes the Manchester Thunderdome. If you are fortunate enough to be driving there or intend on getting a taxi, a full set of directions are available via the Manchester Thunder official website in the ‘Contact Us’ section.

But how much does it cost to get in?

Students with valid identification are able to make use of the reduced ticket options available at Manchester Thunder, making your day out that bit more affordable. Available to purchase online via the team’s official website or at the venue alternatively, a concessionary ticket only costs £8.00, or £10.00 for a full priced adult ticket. Not bad if you ask me! Additionally if you for whatever reason wish to enjoy your day out watching Manchester Thunder in style with more comfort then a VIP ticket option is also available with cushioned seating and refreshments before, during and after the game and is priced at £22.50. We’ll leave that choice up to you…

What are the facilities like? 

The Manchester Thunderdome is situated at the heart of the leisure centre at Wright Robinson Sports College. Often in-front of a packed crowd, as well as the indoor netball court and sports centre, there are also facilities within the complex including FIFA 1STAR 3G pitches, swimming pool and both a sports hall and dance hall, all available to hire at a concessionary rate should you wish to host a sporting event with such modern facilities in the near future.

Tell me something I didn’t already know…

Manchester Thunder are set to make netball history when they compete in the Netball Manchester Live competition in April this year hosted at the Manchester Arena. In what looks set to be a tense war of the roses clash up against Yorkshire Jets, the match aims to break the record for the highest attended domestic netball game. This title is currently held by Netball London Live with an attendance of 6033 people but if recent audience figures are anything to go by, Manchester Thunder have the potential to carry on making headlines on and off the court. Meanwhile the club won the annual Mike Greenwood Trophy three times in a row between 2012-2014 and were crowned Superleague winners back in 2014, and also in 2012 under their previous name Northern Thunder.

Finally, when can I see this in action?

Manchester Thunder take on reigning champions Surrey Storm on Monday 29th February, kicking off at 7.45pm. For more information on ticketing, directions and anything else head over to: http://www.manchesterthunder.com/

If you have any requests for local teams, sports, or events taking place in Manchester that you would like to see featured in The Mancunion, or if you wish to get involved, please contact: sports@mancunion.com.

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