Jess Thirlby succeeds Tracey Neville as England netball head coach
Last Updated: 26/07/19 6:34pm
Jess Thirlby has succeeded Tracey Neville as England netball head coach.
The former England player left her role as head coach of Team Bath at the end of the 2019 Vitality Netball Superleague season and replaces Neville who led the Roses to Commonwealth Games gold in 2018.
Thirlby says it is an "absolute honour and privilege" to be given the role ahead of an "exciting next chapter", after Neville's four-year tenure finished with a bronze medal at the World Cup in Liverpool.
"I have a huge amount of respect for Tracey, the Roses and the team behind them that have led this wonderful sport to where it is today," Thirlby said.
My focus will be to harness and build upon the momentum and solid foundation gained over the past four years.
"This is a great time to be taking on the role as we head into Netball's exciting next chapter. My focus will be to harness and build upon the momentum and solid foundation gained over the past four years.
Thirlby, who is a five-time Superleague champion as a player and coach at Team Bath, says building a squad to develop towards the 2022 Commonwealth Games on home soil will be a main objective.
"I expect the look and feel of the team to change as some players may begin to consider hanging up their netball trainers following the Vitality Netball World Cup, but I am excited to invest in and develop the amazing new talent that is coming through," she added.
"We've had phenomenal national support and wide coverage of the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup, which can only strengthen our focus and resolve as we set our sights on the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, another major event on home soil.
"I recognise and am truly honoured that England Netball have put their faith in me to take on this pivotal role within the England programme and can't wait to get stuck in."
Thirlby, who represented her country from 1991-2006, has vast experience as a coach in the domestic game and has previously worked within different age groups of the national team.
"We are delighted to welcome Jess Thirlby to England Netball as our new head coach," Joanna Adams, England Netball chief executive, said.
"Jess' thorough understanding of the elite netball landscape and experience of working with some of the Vitality Roses', both past and present, makes her the perfect fit for this role.
"Tracey did a fantastic job of growing this sport during her time as Head Coach, she will be missed but I know Jess will do a phenomenal job at continuing to build on the Roses' legacy and developing our up and coming players into world class athletes.
"I'd like to wish her the best of luck in this role and look forward to working with her."
Netball is back on your screens in October with the Fast5 All Stars Championship. We will cover all the twists and turns of the off-season as the Vitality Netball Superleague teams begin to shape their squads for the 2020 season which you can follow on Sky Sports.