Netball Expert & Columnist
Tamsin Greenway reflects on netball's next four-year cycle
Last Updated: 12/08/19 10:13am
Excitement, transparency and bravery are three key topics as Tamsin Greenway reflects on the wealth of news that has arrived in the world of English netball of late.
Since the curtain closed on the Netball World Cup, there has been the appointment of a new Vitality Roses head coach, the news England Netball's CEO Joanna Adams will be leaving and the announcement of the athletes in the full-time programme for the 2019-20 international season
For Greenway the fact there has been such a wave of information is not daunting. Instead, it is something that should be approached with a good deal of positivity.
"People should be looking at this and thinking what's been and gone has been brilliant but, now let's look ahead," she said.
"Let's look at what's coming next and what the next steps on the road are as I think that it could be a cracking four-year journey."
The next four-year cycle will commence with a new CEO in charge of England Netball and a new head coach.
Adams announced her departure in early August and will become the first chief commercial officer of The London Legacy Development Corporation. Greenway had a good relationship with England Netball's departing CEO and believes Adams' shoes are large ones to fill.
Greenway said: "She's had a big impact during her time with England Netball and in the last two years, in particular, there have been so many major shifts and changes we owe Jo a lot for that.
"There are some people that get scared of change but I love the fact that Jo has done what she feels that she can do, created a platform and whilst she's moving onto something new this gives England a massive opportunity to bring someone in with new ideas to take the sport forwards once again."
A key question when you are looking to succeed any individual within a governing body, is whether to look for candidates within the sport or outside of it? As England Netball decide which way to go, Greenway can see the benefits of both routes.
"If you get someone that knows the sport then you're at an advantage because they know the ins and outs of it," she said. "But, then you can sometimes be quite blinkered because you've got your own thoughts already and you're not always open to changes.
"However, if you bring someone new from somewhere else then they have to want to understand the sport because it's great saying, 'This worked for this and this worked for that' but we all know that things don't always translate over. So, it's a bit of a Catch 22.
"What I would like to see is someone who is dynamic, who isn't afraid to make some changes for the better and who has done their research.
"They have done their research to make sure that they're looking at what's worked, but what's next on the agenda. Where is the Superleague going? What does the full-time programme look like in four years' time? How are the pathways and programme looking, And, they have to be commercially minded."
Roses selected for 2019-20 campaign
England Netball have named 29 players that have received a Roses programme agreement for the forthcoming international season.
The full-time athletes Jess Thirlby will be working with during the 2019-20 season were announced on Tuesday. The list of 29 players includes 25 athletes classed as P1 and P2 with four players in the Roses Futures programme.
P1 and P2 athletes are full-time individuals that are either based in England or are playing in Suncorp Super Netball or the ANZ league.
There's a third route into the programme, the P3 route and that is for athletes that cannot commit full-time to England but still want to be available for selection.
Vitality Roses selected for 2019-20 campaign [P1 and P2 Roses]
|Beth Cobden||Iona Darroch||Razia Quashie|
|Chelsea Pitman||Jessica Shaw||Rebekah Airey|
|Eleanor Cardwell||Joanne Harten||Serena Guthrie|
|Ella Clark||Jodie Gibson||Sophie Drakeford-Lewis|
|Francesca Williams||Kate Shimmin||Summer Artman|
|Gabriella Marshall||Laura Malcolm||Vicki Oyesola|
|George Fisher||Layla Guscoth||Yasmin Parsons|
|Geva Mentor||Natalie Haythornthwaite|
|Helen Housby||Natalie Panagarry|
Reviewing the list, Greenway believes it does contain the "best new young talent" and turns to the likes of George Fisher, Sophie Drakeford-Lewis, Razia Quashie and Gabriella Marshall as some noteworthy names.
"There's some really exciting talent in there and we know that this next stage is going to be about bringing those young players through. There are some names in there that I'm really looking forward to seeing how they progress and what they do in Superleague."
Goal keeper, centre and goal shooter are three vital positions Greenway thinks need to be focused upon and have individuals developed within to fill behind the tremendously experienced Geva Mentor, Jo Harten and Serena Guthrie.
If players are to put their hand up and press on internationally then Superleague presence and playing full games week in and week out is vital.
Away from the performances on the court, Greenway is keen to see, and understand, a little more about the layers involved when it comes to player-specifics and programme-specifics.
Greenway said: "I'd love to know some of the players that aren't in the programme this year that were in it last year, did they not trial? Have they been deselected? Is it a personal choice?
"I know Eboni Usoro-Brown was really vocal online assuring people it's fine and she is in the P3 category. It would be great to have a bit more transparency from players and coaches about who's gone for what and what it looks like.
"There were big debates on the day of the full-time player announcements. For example, when you are talking about England's GK role, actually two of the best GKs last Superleague season were Sam Cook and Hannah Knights. The question is, where do they fit in with this?
"If they're not putting themselves up for the full-time programme, which is absolutely their decision, do they still want to play for England or have they ruled themselves out?"
Gaining an understanding of individuals' particulars regarding the national set-up, and any barriers they have to being part of it, is something Greenway realises may not happen in public but she would absolutely like it to be going on behind closed doors.
She asked: "Surely we want the best available players playing for the Roses?"
The Vitality Roses will convene for their first camp since Liverpool in September and from there the new international season and the next new four-year cycle towards South Africa 2023 formally kick-off.
With a new head coach, a new CEO arriving and with interest higher in netball than ever before, the next steps for all involved will be big ones.
Ones that have the potential to take what's been and make it even greater as netball looks to continue take its upward curve.