As the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball season roared away behind closed doors in Queensland, incoming Queensland Firebirds Head Coach Megan Anderson kept a close on the Brisbane-based franchise, even offering advice to captain Gabi Simpson before applications had opened.
Little gems of sage advice about patience as the side were on the cusp of a hard-earned win – in some ways her coaching career had begun before either of them even knew it.
Anderson told The Goal Circle Podcast that it was now or never in terms of head coaching roles.
“I had been working as an assistant coach [with sides like the New South Wales Swifts and Australian Diamonds] for the last six or seven years. It was now or never,” she said.
“I wasn’t going to apply but then I spent a few days thinking about it… it was a month-long process and was all online due to COVID-19 – but I got to meet a few people in the organisation.
“High performance sport is what I love to do and the excitement around strategy is what I love.”
That strategy saw her keep a close eye on the Firebirds – arguably the competition’s brightest and most exciting club – watching the players develop under extreme pressure before her very eyes.
It was this work ethic that allowed her to work inside former Diamonds head coach Lisa Alexander’s circle.
As an attacking specialist, Anderson would be asked to explain her methodology and question the very nature of what she wanted to achieve – just one of the many strengths that she brings into the Firebirds camp in 2021.
Despite losing mid-courter Mahalia Cassidy, Anderson told The Goal Circle Podcast that the future was very bright for the Queenslanders all across court.
“I had been texting Gabi through the season to say how good they were playing and how good the structures were. They were one of the most exciting teams in the competition,” she explained.
“Now, we have got a few experienced players in the team and then a number of younger ones who want to get better. But our experienced players are also like that… it is a good vibe.
“If you are going to lose someone like Cassidy, someone like Kim Ravaillion is the best replacement. She has some good connections with Gabi, Grets [Gretel Bueta] and Romelda Aitken. It is great to have her come back and she is super fit. One workhorse for another.”
With so much talent on court, the Firebirds could become a real contender under Anderson’s guidance.
We now await her announcement as to who will be the assistant coaches in 2021.
The Goal Circle Podcast is now available on Spotify.