Former Blue & Gold player and coach Jess Thirlby named as new England Netball Head Coach
Everyone at Team Bath is delighted at today’s news that former Blue & Gold Head Coach and player Jess Thirlby has been announced as Tracey Neville’s successor as England Netball Head Coach.
Thirlby, who left the Blue & Gold this summer after 20 years of outstanding service as both player and coach, takes on the role just days after the Roses won bronze at the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool.
She is no stranger to the international stage having played for England and coached them at every level from U17 through to the senior squad.
Team Bath Netball Head Superleague Coach Anna Stembridge, who has worked alongside Thirlby for both club and country, says England have made a great choice.
“I am obviously absolutely delighted that Jess has been made Head Coach at such a critical point of the Roses’ journey, following the gold-medal success at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the buzz and legacy of a home World Cup,” said Stembridge, who was England Head Coach from 2011 to 2015.
“England will be looking to continue getting great results and building on those successes but also nurture, develop and integrate an exciting group of young, upcoming netballers into the squad. Jess certainly has the skill set and experience to meet both of those demands.
“Jess is one of my closest friends and I am absolutely super chuffed for her, as we all are at Team Bath.”
Thirlby said: “It is an absolute honour and privilege to be appointed as the Vitality Roses Head Coach. I have a huge amount of respect for Tracey, the Roses and the team behind them that have led this wonderful sport to where it is today. This is a great time to be taking on the role as we head into netball’s exciting next chapter. My focus will be to harness and build upon the momentum and solid foundation gained over the past four years.
“I recognise and am truly honoured that England Netball have put their faith in me to take on this pivotal role within the England programme and can’t wait to get stuck in.”
Sara Symington, Performance Director at England Netball, addd: “After seeing Jess’s success and progression as a coach over the years, it is clear that she lives and breathes netball and has done an outstanding job at creating a positive culture at Team Bath throughout her time there. I’m sure she will do an equally brilliant job working with the Roses and we are delighted to have her on board.”