Canberra GIANTS Announce Coaching Team for 2019


Netball NSW and Netball ACT are pleased to announce the appointment of the coaching team who will lead the Canberra GIANTS in the 2019 Deakin University Australian Netball League (DUANL) season.

Long-time Canberran, Melinda Clarke is welcomed back to the DUANL environment as Head Coach for the 2019 DUANL season. She previously held the position of Canberra Darters Head Coach prior to the implementation of the Suncorp Super Netball competition in 2017. Clarke has an extensive coaching career within the ACT and NSW pathways, which spans 17 years. Most recently, she was Head Coach of the Belconnen Netball Association State League Division One team and the Manly Warringah Sapphires Opens team, which competes in the Netball NSW Premier League competition.

Joining Clarke in the Assistant Coach role is former Australian Diamond and GIANTS Netball player, Rebecca Bulley. The defender is also a familiar face to netball fans in the ACT, having played for the AIS Canberra Darters. Bulley brings with her a wealth of High Performance experience, with 42 international caps and 228 national league matches to her name, making her an invaluable addition as Assistant Coach and mentor to the Canberra GIANTS athletes.

Netball ACT General Manager Benita Bittner is thrilled to welcome Clarke and Bulley to their new roles with the Canberra GIANTS.

“The 2019 Canberra GIANTS coaching staff brings together two eras of netball in the ACT – Melinda with her experience as the Canberra Darters Coach and Rebecca with the new GIANTS Netball franchise.

“I am confident the coaching team will be a formidable force within the GIANTS family and the DUANL competition,” she says.

Bittner also acknowledges the hard work of the departing coaching staff over the last two seasons.

“We would like to thank the outgoing coaching staff – Co-Head Coaches Sharyn Hill and Maria Lynch and Assistant Coach Tara Steel – for their efforts and contributions to the team in the first two years of the Canberra GIANTS,” she Bittner.

GIANTS Netball Head Coach Julie Fitzgerald is looking forward to working with Clarke and Bulley in 2019.

“The strong connection between GIANTS Netball and Canberra GIANTS is of enormous value to us and integral to the future success of our Club. The DUANL is a wonderful opportunity for players to develop their game and test themselves before making a transition into the elite Suncorp Super Netball league.

“Melinda and Bec bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Canberra GIANTS and will be able to provide indispensable guidance to the team as they continue to grow and compete at a semi-elite level.

“I am especially delighted to have Bec join the coaching ranks within the GIANTS family. As a former GIANTS Netball player with a great understanding of the GIANTS culture, Bec will further strengthen the connection between both sides. With her competitive drive and supportive nature, I have every confidence in her ability to positively influence the direction of the Canberra GIANTS,” Fitzgerald says.

A joint initiative between Netball ACT and Netball NSW, the Canberra GIANTS team provides a direct pathway to the elite Suncorp Super Netball competition. The team is comprised of players from the ACT and NSW development pathways. Players are appointed to the squad on a yearly basis, with selections based on competitive trials held annually.

Nominations close at 5.00pm today for athletes wishing to trial for a chance to join the 2019 Canberra GIANTS, with trials to take place on 7 November, while players who successfully trial will be confirmed by 1 December, 2018. Nominate here.

The 2019 DUANL Fixture will soon be announced by Netball Australia, along with information on competition dates and details to purchase tickets.