Thunder name new Coach

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Adelaide Thunderbirds assistant coach Dan Ryan has been named as the new Thunder head coach.

The coach heads to the Superleague from the Australian ANZ Championship side and is ‘excited’ to be joining Thunder at the ‘perfect’ time in his career.

He takes over from Tracey Neville, who left Thunder to become interim England boss for this summer’s World Cup in Sydney.

Victoria-born Ryan, 31, won the title with the Thunderbirds in 2013 after joining the Southern Australia side in 2012. He also coached Southern Force in the ANL.

Alongside his coaching experience, Ryan is a qualified journalist and freelance sports broadcaster, notably with Australia’s Network Ten and travelled to Delhi, India in 2010 as part of the commentary team for the Commonwealth Games.

Ryan, who plays goal attack for the Australia men’s team, was widely tipped as the man to take the reins at the Thunderbirds after Jane Woodlands-Thompson announced in April that she would be stepping down. But the job was given to Australian Diamonds assistant coach Michelle den Dekker.

The keen traveller, who is due to take up his role at Thunder in late summer, said: “I’ve always kept a close eye on the Superleague and head coaching in the competition has always been on my radar. I can’t wait to get back into the head coach seat after four years working as an assist with the Adelaide Thunderbirds. The opportunity to lead a great club like Manchester Thunder is really exciting and the timing of it seems perfect for me at this point in my coaching career. The beauty of taking over a successful club like Thunder is that the foundations for success are already there so for me it’s about adding value to the existing frameworks and identifying what I can bring to the table to take the club to the next level.”

Before agreeing the move to England, Ryan consulted with Neville, who he worked with while guest coaching with Thunder last year.

Ryan, who is relishing the opportunity to live in Manchester, added: “Tracey’s had brilliant success during her time and I feel really privileged to be in a position to hopefully achieve more success for the club.  As a head coach pressure is something that you need to embrace and thrive on and it’s simply part of the job.  I see this role as a great opportunity and since I’m extremely competitive, I’ll certainly be embracing all the challenges along the way.”

Manchester Thunder managing director Debbie Hallas said: “We are so pleased to have Dan join us at Manchester Thunder. He brings with him invaluable experience coaching in the most high profile and best netball league in the world. We are sure Dan will fit in perfectly at Thunder and will continue to bring the absolute best out of our players, who I am sure will relish a new challenge under a new coach.”