Leeds Rhinos Netball secure Dan Ryan as head coach
Rhinos will become a Superleague franchise in 2021; "We are absolutely thrilled to have Dan joining the team," says director of netball Anna Carter
By Emma Thurston
Last Updated: 19/08/19 12:36pm
Leeds Rhinos Netball have boosted their drive towards entering the Vitality Superleague in 2021 by securing the services of Dan Ryan as their head coach.
Ryan, who on Thursday also announced that he would be remaining with Northern Ireland as their international coach, has now been appointed to lead Leeds Rhinos' charge forwards, alongside their director of netball Anna Carter.
The franchise's entrance to Superleague will arrive in 2021 and Ryan himself is thrilled at the opportunity to work with such a dynamic new outfit.
"I'm incredibly excited to be joining the Leeds Rhinos family and honoured to be the club's inaugural Netball Superleague Head Coach," said Ryan.
"The opportunity to be a part of this sporting club with such a rich history is one I couldn't pass on. How it lives and breathes performance sport and truly cares about its people, this is an organisation I really wanted to be aligned to.
"Leeds Rhinos has an incredible offer, providing athletes globally with the chance to be part of an established, professional and successful sporting organisation."
This is a world-class training environment with first class facilities including the many high-performance resources needed to achieve success on both a team and individual level, and I'm confident we can deliver a brilliant and sustainable athlete experience.
Dan Ryan - Leeds Rhinos Head Coach
The franchise's director of netball Carter has been the leader behind ensuring that top-level netball will be returning to Yorkshire.
Leeds Rhinos Netball was launched in 2017 and the news that they would become a Superleague franchise was greeted warmly by all involved in the league.
We're delighted by the news @rhinosnetball will be in Superleague from 2021.— Manchester Thunder (@thundernetball) June 5, 2019
We've missed our Roses clashes over the last few years and look forward to welcoming @ACoachcarter and the Rhinos family to Manchester in 18 months.
Carter, like her new head coach Ryan, has Superleague pedigree having coached at Loughborough and Team Bath and with two such innovative minds combining, the franchise is setting itself up for sustained success.
"We are absolutely thrilled to have Dan Ryan joining the team at Rhinos and what perfect timing to have someone of Dan's calibre in the vicinity as we were awarded Superleague 2021 entry," Carter said about her new head coach.
"Clearly, he has the experience necessary to move us forward with this year's Superleague title winners proof alone and, of course, his time with the Northern Ireland team at the World Cup in Liverpool plus back on home turf with his coaching experience in the ANZ Championship and the world's leading netball league, Suncorp Super Netball."
The franchise's link with Leeds Rhinos means that they are one of three teams with rugby links and that affords them unique benefits and a performance environment that can be driven through ongoing synergies.
"There is cross-code learning from things like peripheral vision and contact to movement skills - for us in particular, we have seen great access to girls who do like the physical side of sport," noted Carter.
"We are already working with Rhinos women's rugby league side to provide joint opportunities and how some players may have a skill set that fits into rugby league.
"We have already had girls transferring from one sport to the other and that is in both ways - it's about opportunity.
"From a talent perspective, we also get to look outside the traditional routes, perhaps see players who have not played netball before and potentially bring them into our pathways."
One of Ryan's immediate tasks will be talent identification and acquisition plus strengthening existing partnerships and establishing new connections with potential sponsors. In 12 months' time, his focus will then switch in full towards performance coaching.
"Rhinos is quite the place for performance sport, with elite coaching, strength and conditioning, sport science, medical, education, psychology and wellbeing, all under the one roof providing each athlete with unrivalled support," added Rhinos' director of netball.
Carter and Rhinos ready to make mark
Anna Carter spoke to Paul Prenderville about Leeds Rhinos' vision after being awarded a Superleague license.
"Dan as coach now enhances our offer further again and we're looking forward to seeing the talent come through from beyond where we once would have thought possible for our Superleague team."
Leeds Rhinos Netball will play their home games at a range of venues, including Leeds Beckett University, Sheffield EIS, and the First Direct Arena, with the ambition for a new indoor venue in the medium term in the city of Leeds.
With Carter and Ryan in place it will now be full steam ahead as preparations march on and the clock ticks down before Leeds Rhinos Netball's first Vitality Netball Superleague game in the early part of 2021.
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.