Blades to coach Waratahs in 2019

Netball NSW is delighted to announce that long-standing High Performance coach Lenore Blades will take the reins of the NSW Swifts’ feeder team, the Waratahs, for the 2019 Deakin University Australian Netball League.

A Sydney Sandpipers head coach during the Commonwealth Bank Trophy era, Blades also played at National League level and has long been at the forefront of talent development in NSW.

As well as coaching the Sandpipers, Blades has coached NSW through 15 campaigns at 17/U, 19/U and 21/U level and has also been an Australian underage selector.

The Australian Netball League (ANL) is Netball Australia’s feeder competition into Suncorp Super Netball, providing a pathway for the development and identification of national athletes, coaches, administrators and officials across the country.

Blades said she was proud to take over the Waratahs and would be looking to build on 2018’s playoff appearance.

“It is very exciting to work with the calibre of player NSW produces at ANL level,” she said.

“This competition plays a vital role in ensuring our most talented new players are exposed to the environment and experience essential for them to make it at the highest level of the game and its importance cannot be underestimated.

“Last season the Waratahs demonstrated they have what it takes not only to compete for the ANL title, but also to be a vital support team for the NSW Swifts. It is fantastic to have that link with a Super Netball team as it gives our players a tangible goal to aspire to.

“I feel extremely privileged and proud to accept this role and am keen to get the selection process underway.”

NSW Swifts General Manager Nikki Horton said she was delighted to have secured a coach with as impressive a CV as Blades’.

“The standard of player we have coming through our pathways is very high and NSW is lucky to have some of the best coaches in the business to help their development,” Horton said.

“Lenore is one of those and we not only have someone who has done great things already in a playing and coaching capacity, but also understands the game in this state.

“Her track record is fantastic, she will build on the development that came in 2017 and we know our players will learn and continue to grow and excel under her stewardship.”