Netball NSW, in partnership with the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) and Netball Australia, is pleased to announce the appointment of Briony Akle as NSWIS Head Coach.
Following an extensive recruitment process, Akle has been appointed to the Head Coach position which is responsible for delivering the high performance program for NSWIS scholarship and targeted national/emerging athletes, supporting the development of identified coaches through ongoing mentoring, and will be Head Coach of the Netball NSW Waratahs in the revamped Australian Netball League (ANL) competition.
Previously the position encompassed both NSWIS Head Coach/NSW Swifts’ Assistant Coach duties, however with the ANL Competition now scheduled during the ANZ Championship, outgoing Head Coach Anita Keelan stepped down to focus on her role as NSW Swifts’ Assistant Coach.
The NSWIS netball program has produced a high number of athletes for the both the NSW Swifts and Australian Diamonds, including five scholarship graduates* selected in the 14-strong Australian Diamonds’ touring party for the January Test Series against England.
“Providing High Performance Pathways for our athletes, coaches and officials is a key focus for Netball NSW and we are delighted to see Briony’s impressive progression through this system has been rewarded with this appointment,” Netball NSW Chief Executive Officer Carolyn Campbell said.
“The NSWIS netball program educates athletes on the technical demands of elite netball, but also having Briony as Head Coach of the Netball NSW Waratahs will provide some of these players with the opportunity to experience the tactical demands of high level competition.
“I’d like to thank and acknowledge the contribution of Anita Keelan in this role over the past twelve months and we look forward to having her remain as NSW Swifts’ Assistant Coach in 2016,” concluded Campbell.
Dual Commonwealth Bank Trophy Premiership winner with the Sydney Swifts (1999-2004), Akle has extensive experience coaching emerging athletes; Head Coach NSW 17/U State Team (2011), Assistant Coach NSW 21/U State Team (2012), Head Coach NSW 19/U State Team (2014, 2015), Head Coach Netball NSW Blues (2014), Assistant coach Netball NSW Waratahs (2015) and was appointed NSW Swifts Apprentice Coach in 2014.
Akle led the NSW 19/U State Team to the National Netball Championships title in 2015 and was subsequently appointed as Assistant Coach of the 19/U Australian Gold team alongside Tania Obst & Michelle Den Dekkar to tour New Zealand.
“Briony has been a part of the Netball Australia targeted coach program since 2011 and brings to NSWIS a comprehensive knowledge of player development, programming and skill development as a coach and former athlete,” says Kim Crane, NSWIS Manager High Performance Sport & Excellence.
“With over 10 years of High Performance Netball coaching in the State League Waratah Cup competition and having previously been a Swifts Apprentice Coach in 2014, capability wise she is ready for this opportunity. We are thrilled to have Briony lead our program, and look forward to supporting her and the NSWIS athletes as they continue their important development toward Swifts and Diamonds representation,” concluded Crane.
On being appointed NSWIS Head Coach, Akle has had to relinquish her role as Head Coach of North Shore United in the newly formed Netball NSW Premier League.
Akle will commence her role at NSWIS and with the Netball NSW Waratahs on the 27 January 2016, with Netball NSW currently recruiting for an Assistant Coach, Netball NSW Waratahs.
* Ashleigh Brazill, Paige Hadley, April Letton, Kristiana Manu’a, Gabi Simpson.