Netball coaches leading a changing of the guard

Nicole Richardson. Picture: Super Netball.

As the sun sets on one of the most turbulent sporting years in history, Suncorp Super Netball could be preparing to enter a new dawn through a coaching ‘changing of the guard’.

Former Firebirds head coach Roselee Jencke and former Swifts and Magpies head coach Rob Wright have both exited the competition all together while former Australian Diamonds head coach Lisa Alexander won’t be involved at clubland.

So what does it mean? Well, West Coast Fever Assistant Coach Sue Gaudion, who also works as a commentator for Channel 9, believes there is a changing of the guard on the horizon – a mix of the old school with the new.

“I think now with the Firebirds announcing Megan Anderson and the ‘Pies announcing Nicole Richardson as their head coaches, there’s a bit of a changing of the guard happening right now,” she said.

“With the eight coaches, you have got more experience in people like Vixens coach Simone McKinnis and Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald. But then you look at Lighting coach Kylee Byrne, Swifts coach Briony Akle, Adelaide’s Tania Obst, Fever’s Stacey Marinkovich.

“It isn’t to say there aren’t any more great high level coaches out there – it says clubs are looking in a new direction. People are taking these different kinds of coaches now – it will be so interesting to see what happens in 2021.”

Whether the competition is given a shake up or not remains to be seen, Gaudion said she was excited to see a full season played out of the COVID-19 bubble.

“I think the COVID-bubble was extreme. We have had to adapt, learn and change things on a dime. We may have to do that again in 2021. We may have to go in thinking things are looking up but we still need to be agile and flexible,” she told The Innner Sanctum.

“While we were looking over our shoulder during the ‘COVID’ season, the agility and adaptability was unbelievable. That, as a sport, is critical.”

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