‘Appetite for change’: Netball Australia ends Lisa Alexander stint as Diamonds coach_1


A one-goal World Cup final loss effectively spelled the end of Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander after more than eight years in the role, with Netball Australia deciding not to renew her contract.

The Diamonds lost their world title to New Zealand by a goal last July, although have still maintained their No.1 ranking.

It wasn't enough for Alexander to hold on to her job, with Netball Australia announcing on Tuesday she will finish up with the Diamonds' bushfire relief charity match in Sydney on March 1.

With a number of tearful current Australian players, including skipper Caitlin Basset, watching on, Alexander said she wanted to continue in the role.



Netball Australia CEO Marne Fechner said the hunt for Alexander's replacement would start next month, with the new coach overseeing the Quad series in September.

"This by no means has been an easy decision – ultimately though we look toward the next four-year cycle and beyond that and there's a consensus and appetite for change," Fechner said.

"We believe it's in the best interest of the program to open up the role in March this year.

"We acknowledge and respect the fact that this is not the outcome that Lisa was looking for."

Fechner said her preference was for an Australian coach.

"The parochial nature and the passion that we have as Australia for the Diamonds and netball; it makes sense that it's an Australian coach and I know that there's some great coaches out there coaching in our Super Netball league and also coaching internationally as well," she said.

"You'd like to think with the pedigree on our shores, that's where the next coach will come from."

Former internationals Clare Ferguson (nee McMeniman) is the current Diamonds defence coach and Megan Anderson, shooting, but are unlikely to step up.

Jane Woodlands-Thompson, who oversees women's sport at Collingwood, has recently spent time assisting New Zealand coach Noeline Taurua.

Collingwood netball coach Rob Wright is thought to have international ambitions.

Former Diamond Simone McKinnis, who coaches Melbourne Vixens, may also be an option.

-AAP