Leeds Rhinos Netball continues to build momentum towards its inaugural Superleague season in 2021, with the appointment of Yorkshire netball legend, Maggie Birkinshaw, as the club’s Assistant Coach.
Having previously coached at Superleague level with Yorkshire Jets and Loughborough Lightning, Birkinshaw said she was delighted at the opportunity to coach top-flight netball again, especially in her hometown:
“To actually be asked to be the inaugural Assistant Coach of Leeds Rhinos Netball is huge for me. This is the region of my birth, where I grew up and learned to play netball and if you were to cut me in half like a stick of rock, it would say ‘Yorkshire’ through and through!”
Birkinshaw will team up with Head Coach Dan Ryan, in what promises to be one of the most exciting and experienced coaching duos in the league.
After meeting with the 35-year-old Australian and listening to his vision and aspirations for the program and beyond, Birkinshaw admitted she didn’t need much persuading before committing to the franchise:
“Over the past few months we’ve had the chance to get to know each other and during this time you see a person’s characteristics, their personality, their values, their culture and you begin to understand their coaching philosophy. What I’ve seen so far, I really like. This is also a great opportunity to enhance my own coaching development but knowing what Dan is creating, it’s going to be fresh, exciting and bold. It is something I really wanted to be a part of and hopefully, we can all help make netball in Yorkshire great again.”
Renowned as an uncompromising defender, Birkinshaw represented the England Roses in three World Championships and notched up over 60 senior caps throughout her distinguished career.
Her playing and coaching experience, incredible athlete knowledge, along with her passion and character, were all influential factors in catching Ryan’s eye.
“Mags is one of the most respected individuals in English Netball and I was certain from very early on that I wanted to have her on my team to help bring my vision to life,” said Ryan.
“She’s positive and hard-working, values integrity, demands excellence and absolutely lives and breathes Yorkshire, so she’s the perfect fit. I’m really looking forward to working with her and making sure the inaugural Leeds Rhinos Superleague team is one we can all be proud of.”
Leeds Rhinos Netball is looking forward to announcing more exciting appointments in the coming months.
MAGGIE BIRKINSHAW CAREER BIO
England Roses career spanning 13 years – U18, U21 and Senior
Participated in 3 World Championships – 1987, 1991, 1995
60 + senior caps
Current Roses Selector & Assessor
Assistant Coach at Loughborough Lightning
Assistant Coach at Yorkshire Jets
U17 Leeds Rhinos Head Coach
U16 Leeds Athletic Head Coach