After helping steer NSW to the Australian Netball League Grand Final last year, Netball NSW is delighted to announce Briony Akle will return again as Head Coach of the Netball NSW Waratahs in 2017.
As part of her role as NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) Netball Program Head Coach, Akle will once again lead the NNSW Waratahs’ coaching staff as they look to go one better next season after a narrow loss to VIC Fury in the title-decider at the Genea Netball Centre in 2016.
Akle, who was awarded her High Performance accreditation earlier this year, has enjoyed successful campaigns with NSW State Teams; being crowned Champions in 2012 (Assistant Coach NSW 21/U Team) and 2015 (Head Coach NSW 19/U Team), as well as finishing Runners-Up in 2011 (Head Coach NSW 17/U Team) and, of course, 2016 ANL Runners-Up.
A former player herself, Akle is a dual Commonwealth Bank Trophy Premiership winner with the Sydney Swifts (1999-2004) and has been active in Netball Australia’s Targeted Coach Program over the last two seasons.
Joining Akle as Assistant Coach is a familiar face to the NSW netball community with former NSW Swift and England International Sonia Mkoloma returning to the NSW coaching setup in 2017. Akle and Mkoloma have previously enjoyed a successful coaching relationship in 2016 as Head and Assistant Coach, respectively, of the Championship-winning NSW 19/U Team in 2015.
Like Akle, Mkoloma has been involved with Netball Australia’s Targeted Coaches Program this year, which provides development opportunities for identified coaches within national programs and national camps to provide them with continued development and learning.
Finally, Leonie Stewart-Weeks has been appointed the invitational position of Apprentice Coach, to work alongside both Akle and Mkoloma throughout the 2017 ANL campaign. No stranger to the NSW environment, Stewart-Weeks has been the NSW 17/U Development Squad Head Coach for the past three seasons.
“2016 was a very successful season for the Netball NSW Waratahs, and we are delighted to have Briony back on board for 2017,” Anna Longman, General Manager – High Performance, said.
“Both Briony and Sonia have a proven working relationship, and we have the utmost confidence they will be able to continue the recent success of our NNSW Waratahs. Both have excellent knowledge experience with our NSW athletes, and to have them on board is vital as we strive for excellence.
“We are also pleased be able to invite Leonie into the NSW Waratahs environment in the 2017, an additional coaching opportunity for the NNSW Waratahs next year. This is another occasion where we can provide high performance experience within our coaching pathway for us to help develop the High Performance talent in NSW.
“While we didn’t manage to win the title in 2016, the team definitely showed that NSW is going in the right direction and we are looking forward to seeing how Briony and her team approach the 2017 season.”
Netball NSW will make announcements regarding the 2017 Netball NSW Waratahs playing roster in due course.