In a not-so surprising turn of events, Trinidadian netball sensation Samantha Wallace-Joseph has been released by the New South Wales Swifts, by mutual agreement, mere months after returning from a two-year hiatus due to knee surgery. The Suncorp Super League franchise announced the departure on Thursday, citing issues related to her behavior within the team environment.

Wallace-Joseph, a pivotal player for the Swifts, had missed multiple games recently, contributing to the team’s three-game losing streak. The Swifts, last year’s grand finalists, now find themselves in a three-way tie for fifth place on the ladder, a position far below their usual standards.

The Swifts confirmed the split in a statement, explaining that it was a mutual decision made after weeks of discussions with Wallace-Joseph and her management.

 "For the past number of weeks, the club has been working with Samantha Wallace-Joseph and her management in relation to a matter which concerned her behaviour within the team environment,” the statement read. “For the wellbeing of all concerned the nature of the matter will remain confidential. However, it has been mutually agreed that parting ways is the best way forward for both Samantha and the club.”

This development comes after the Swifts had previously shown unwavering support for Wallace-Joseph during her recovery from a serious knee injury. Her comeback, however, was overshadowed by controversy following anti-transgender comments she made on social media, which stirred significant public backlash.

The Swifts emphasized the importance of maintaining high behavioral standards within their team, stating, “The behavioural standard expected of everyone in the Swifts environment – across players, coaches and staff – is team first and there are no exceptions to that.”

Wallace-Joseph, who joined the Swifts in 2017, has been a key figure in the team’s success, playing 84 games and securing Premierships in 2019 and 2021. Despite her departure under strained circumstances, the Swifts expressed their gratitude for her contributions, saying, “The Swifts thank Samantha for her service to the Club.”

As the netball community processes this shocking news, the Swifts have made it clear that they will not be making any further comments on the matter at this time.

Wallace-Joseph's departure marks a significant chapter in her career, and her next steps will be closely watched by fans and analysts alike. Meanwhile, the Swifts will need to regroup quickly as they aim to recover from their current slump and return to their winning ways.

 

 

After sitting out the past two Suncorp Super Netball League matches, Samantha Wallace-Joseph’s future with New South Wales Swifts seems up in the air, as the club remains evasive about her omission from the match-day squad.

Though speculations were rife that the Trinidad and Tobago stalwart’s cut was due to anti-transgender social media post earlier this year, the club –while distancing itself from the post –confirmed that the current issue was unrelated. Wallace-Joseph did apologise for the post which she said was taken out of context.

NSW Swifts, in a recent statement, confirmed that Wallace-Joseph “would be unavailable for selection,” as they dealt with a matter relating to behaviour within the team environment. The club also stated that it was working with Wallace-Joseph and her management team.

However, indications are that the negotiations could be headed towards Wallace-Joseph’s termination or a mutual parting of ways, which is unprecedented in netball.

Wallace-Joseph's role in the team has been a focal point of discussion given the fact that the now 30-year-old goal shooter has been a beloved member of the team since her signing in 2017. Since joining the club, the Trinidadian assisted the Swifts to two Super Netball titles, and was named club MVP on three occasions.

Wallace-Joseph, who only returned to action this season after recovering from a career-threatening anterior cruciate ligament injury that sidelined her for the past two seasons, tallied over 138 goals, 289 Nissan Net Points, four deflections, one intercept and seven rebounds in the seven games she played before being dropped.

Despite the fact that West Coast Fever suffered a tough round nine loss to Adelaide Thunderbirds, Jamaica’s Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard remains atop the Nissan Net Points tally, with her compatriots Romelda Aiken-George, Shamera Sterling-Humphrey and Latanya Wilson also in pole across other categories.

With 959.5 Net Points to her credit, Fowler-Nembhard is well over 100 points ahead of Sunshine Coast Lightning’s Liz Watson (809.5 points), with Sterling-Humphrey (780 points) in third.

Fowler-Nembhard also has a strangle hold on the goals and attempts leaderboards, with 494 goals and 514 attempts. She has Australian goal shooters Donnell Wallam (378 goals and 440 attempts), Sophie Garbin (363 goals and 413 attempts), and Cara Koenen (340 goals and 376 attempts) keeping close company. Aiken-George is fifth on both standings with 306 goals and 353 attempts.

However, Aiken-George continues to lead the offensive rebounds ladder with 43, ahead of Garbin (37), Koenen (33), Wallam (30), and Fowler-Nembhard (25).

A massive week from Wilson ensured the Sunshine Girl retains pole position on the intercepts ladder, as her tally of 33 now pushed her five ahead of teammate Sterling-Humphrey (28).

Still, Sterling-Humphrey has a firm grip on the deflections leaderboard (62) and defensive rebounds (22), both marginally ahead of Ash Ervin, who has 53 deflections and 18 defensive rebounds. Wilson (49) is third on the deflections ladder.

Meanwhile, despite another Swifts loss, Helen Housby’s willingness to shoot from range has not stopped. She is still leading the Suncorp Super Shots (53) and attempts (81) categories, while Liz Watson has continued her midcourt dominance, with 232 goal assists to her name to go with her 236 centre pass receives.

Adelaide Thunderbirds produced what was arguably their best performances of the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) League season so far to turn the tables on leaders West Coast Fever, with an emphatic 68-50 victory at a sold-out Entertainment Centre, on Saturday.

Having lost the first meeting between the two by one goal in a nail-biting encounter, the Thunderbirds –comprising Jamaicans Romelda Aiken-George, Shamera Sterling-Humphrey and Latanya Wilson –were out for revenge against their Jamaican counterparts Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard, Shanice Beckford and Kadie-Ann Dehaney, and they delivered it in a swift and vicious manner with the 18-goal romp that handed Fever their second loss of the season.

In fact, the win for the Thunderbirds also marked a rebound from last week’s shock defeat to Queensland Firebirds, as they capitalised on 19 gains against the uncharacteristically careless, out-of-sorts Fever.

Aiken-George, as always, led the Thunderbirds from the front with 50 goals from 60 attempts, backed by Lauren Frew, who had nine goals from 13 attempts, while Georgie Horjus had five goals from six attempts, and Lucy Austin scored four goals from five attempts.

Meanwhile, Fever’s attacking front saw Fowler-Nembhard tally 41 goals from 46 attempts, as Alice Teague-Neeld (four goals from five attempts), and Olivia Wilkinson (three goals from four attempts) offered some support. Beckford failed to score from her three attempts.

As expected, the encounter started at a decent tempo, as Fever accounted for the first two goals, before Thunderbirds responded, finding free targets and keeping pace in a goal-for-goal opening term.

Sterling-Humphrey made her presence felt early, when she got her hands on the ball within the first two minutes, though she couldn't quite secure it to make it count. Still, she went on to Sterling-Humphrey tally eight intercept possessions by halftime.

Jamaican Shamera Sterling-Humphrey of Adelaide Thunderbirds soars above her West Coast Fever opponent to win possession.

The Fever defenders focused on protecting the backspace with a split circle, aiming to stifle the tall timber, Aiken-George, but it was to no avail.

Latanya Wilson later pulled off a crucial intercept, which assisted Thunderbirds, the reigning champions, to a two-goal lead heading into the Power Five, where they added three more goals to open a five-goal lead a 20-15 at the end of the first quarter.

Tayla Williams also shone early for Thunderbirds, as she racked up 53.5 Nissan Net Points, with eight goal assists, 11 feeds, and a deflection in the first term alone.

Much like she ended the first, Wilson started the second quarter in a similar vein, as she soared for another intercept, and kept possession in play even as she flew out of bounds. That play extended the Thunderbirds' lead and they duly maintained the momentum from there to take the quarter 19-9 for a 39-24 lead at half-time.

The Fever stepped up their game in the third quarter and that resulted in a slight momentum shift.  For the first and only time in the contest, they outscored Thunderbirds 17-12 to cut the deficit to 10 goals at 51-41 heading into the final quarter.

Though Fever showcased moments of fluid play that signalled a notable shift in energy and momentum at the top of the final quarter, their hopes of a comeback victory dwindle, as Thunderbirds regained their rhythm just before the Power Five and accelerated to cap a tidy victory.

Adversity often serves as the catalyst for greatness, and Latanya Wilson’s path to being a formidable force for Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) League franchise Adelaide Thunderbirds and, by extension, Jamaica, is a testament to that.

Wilson’s journey has been one of perseverance, talent, and an unyielding drive for success as being told she wasn’t good enough, coupled with tragic losses along the way, shaped her ascent in netball to the point where she is now a force to be reckoned with.

The rangy wing defence, who possesses the ability to both hunt and find the loose balls, recently celebrated her 50th game milestone in the SSN, and as she reflected on the path to achieving the feat, Wilson is even more determined to add another chapter to that legacy.

“Reaching 50 games in the SSN is truly surreal. It feels like a huge accomplishment, especially considering what the journey was like and the dedication and hard work it took to get here. To say it was rough would be an understatement, you know, the setbacks and obstacles that I faced along the way, but I was always focused on the bigger picture,” Wilson told SportsMax.TV from her base in Australia.

“I am grateful for everyone who supported me in overcoming those challenges to make it this far, and I'm excited to see what the future holds because I still have so much more to give, and so it is just about pushing even harder from here to accomplish even more,” she added.