Kwangwa back at Surrey Storm

The Herald

Ellina Mhlanga  Senior Sports Reporter 

GEMS captain Felisitus Kwangwa will be returning to Surrey Storm after the club re-signed her for the 2023 Vitality Netball Superleague season.

The club announced her return on Wednesday together with goalkeeper Leah Middleton, who is also back at the club for the third year. 

According to the club’s website, head coach Mikki Austin was impressed with the defensive unit last season as their combination controlling the circle on defence proved to be a success for the team. 

Commenting on Kwangwa’s return, Austin said she believes the Zimbabwean player will continue thriving next season. 

“Felisitus worked tirelessly on her game throughout the season and reaped the rewards in court time. She is a relentless tracker with the ability to win the ball when it counts, and I truly believe will continue to thrive into next season. 

“We look forward to seeing what Felisitus can achieve.” 

Kwangwa made her debut appearance in the Vitality Netball Superleague in 2021 with Surrey Storm.

The club re-signed her for the 2022 season after her impressive exploits on the court. She continued to make strides and was one of the most consistent players last season. 

It was her best season with the club as she established herself to become one of the key players and helped the club to finish seventh in the Vitality Netball Superleague. 

The Zimbabwean goal defender enjoyed more game time as well and made the starting seven on several occasions.

Her contribution didn’t go unnoticed after she walked away with the Coach’s Player of the Season Award. 

She was also voted the Fans Player of the Season ahead of teammates Yasmin Parsons, Peace Proscovia and Middleton. 

Speaking to the club’s media, Kwangwa said she is grateful to be part of the Surrey Storm team.  

“I am grateful to be part of Storm family this coming season. The goal is always to be crowned the champions of 2023 season and that is what we will strive for,” said Kwangwa. 

The Zimbabwe national senior team captain returned home following the expiration of her contract at the end of the 2022 season and joined the Gems in camp for the 2023 Netball World Cup qualifiers that took place last month in Pretoria, South Africa.

She led the Gems to their second qualification for the global showpiece that will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, next year when they claimed one of the two spots at the tournament. 

The Gems will be making their second consecutive appearance at the Netball World Cup next year having done so first in 2019. Then Kwangwa was the team’s vice-captain and it was during that Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England, that she caught the eye of Austin after an exceptional performance throughout the competition. 

Speaking to The Herald after receiving the Coach’s Player of the Season Award in June, Kwangwa said: “This award means a lot to me as an individual because it really shows how my hard work was appreciated, how I have grown as a player, which has been one of my dreams, to grow.

“And probably I believe one day I will get where I am willing to get as a player because I feel like this is just the beginning, there is a lot coming my way.” 

Her hard work and determination continues to pay off as she returns to the club for the for the third season in a row.

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