Celtic Dragons is delighted to announce that defender Leila Thomas will be returning to the franchise for the 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague season.

Thomas has played two seasons with Celtic Dragons and one at Team Bath during her Superleague career. The 19-times capped Welsh international, who featured at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, also won silver with Wales at last year’s Netball Europe competition in Belfast. Thomas is also a familiar face at the top end of South Wales club netball, having represented both Cowbridge and Pontypool Netball Clubs.

Thomas, who has recently graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in Biochemistry, last represented the franchise at the 2019 British All-Stars Fast5 competition in London where Dragons made it to the semi-final – and inches away from a spot in the finale. University commitments meant she was unable to play a part in the 2020 season, but now settled in a new day-job as a research and development technician, she is ready for the challenge of 2021.

She said: “At Celtic Dragons, the definition of ‘team’ is truly shown on and off the court. My short-lived experience of the ‘new-look’ Dragons side at Fast5 last season was testament to this, so I’m fired up and more than ready to get back out on court with the Dragons this season!

Thomas is ambitious and confident about what the team can achieve in the year to come. She said: “In 2021, I want us to develop and solidify an original, fiery and feared style of play with the new-look Dragons squad, in order to secure a top 5 position in the Superleague table. I think this is possible from our performance at Fast5 and the promising performances that the girls put out on court at the start of the VNSL 2020 season – with so much fluidity and movement across all franchises I believe everyone is a contender in this league.”

Director of Netball, Tania Hoffman, was pleased to see Thomas return for the coming year. She said: “Leila is one of Wales’ most exciting young defenders and has a huge career ahead of her, both in Superleague and internationally.

“She is a diligent and committed athlete and a fantastic role model for any aspiring netballer. Along with Abby [Tyrrell] she will be a massive part of our plans for the defensive end in 2021 and I know the best is yet to come from Leila who is so passionate about this team and about what she wants to achieve this season.”