Dan Ryan to Lead Northern Ireland
Netball Northern Ireland has landed a major coup with the signing of talented Australian coach Dan Ryan, as the new Head Coach of the national program.
Ryan will take over the reigns from outgoing coach Elaine Rice, with his first task to prepare the new look senior team for next year’s Netball World Cup in Liverpool.
The 34 year old said it was a great honor to take the reigns of the world number eight.
“It’s incredibly humbling to be appointed as the new Head Coach of Northern Ireland and the opportunity to coach at a World Cup is a dream come true,” he said.
“I’ve been really inspired by how well the team has been performing in recent years, Elaine has done a fantastic job. I’m also really impressed by how committed the organisation and the athletes are in taking the national program to the next level.”
“It’s an exciting time to be involved and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”
Ryan joins Netball NI after two years at the helm of the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the Suncorp Super Netball League. He was also the Assistant Coach at the Thunderbirds for four years (2012-2015) during the ANZ Championship era, including the clubs 2013 premiership winning season.
Before coaching in Super Netball, Ryan had a successful tenure as the Head Coach and Director of Netball at Manchester Thunder in the 2016 Vitality Netball Superleague. He led the team to the minor premiership before finishing the season as runner’s up. He also spent some time working as a technical coach in England’s full time senior program.
The former Australian Men’s Captain hoped his experience and knowledge from working in the world’s best netball leagues and high performance systems would play a key role in building a sustainable world-class program for elite netballers in the country.
“There’s a really solid foundation here and the challenge now is improve our resourcing and funding, find new ways to do things, set new standards and improve in all aspects of high performance,” Ryan said.
“There’s some great talent here and the overall growth potential of the sport is something I’m really eager to help develop and bring to life. There’s a lot of hard work ahead of us, but I can’t wait to get started.”
Netball Northern Ireland’s Chair, Geoff Wilson said the organisation was thrilled to have a coach of Ryan’s experience board. “This is a massive opportunity for Netball Northern Ireland and Dan – for us to have secured the appointment of such a well known coach with a history of success we are delighted that he can lead us at the 2019 World Cup, through the ongoing support from Sport Northern Ireland Sporting Winners Programme and the National Lottery.
Executive Manager, Karen Rollo, echoed the thoughts of Dan and Geoff “following a successful two years, including securing a Top 8 finish at the CWG and qualifying for the 2019 World Cup, outgoing Head Coach Elaine Rice left us in a strong position, ensuring we had an incredibly high caliber of applicants when we began the search for our new coach at the end of the summer. Dan shares our determination to achieve even more success for our National Team and the passion to push our current and future athletes to new levels. We are relishing this exciting time and which begins with the challenge of the Netball World Cup.”
Ryan will hold his first World Cup training camp with the senior squad next month.