Leeds Rhinos Netball have continued their charge by appointing the club’s first-ever Vitality Netball Superleague Head Coach, Dan Ryan.
The announcement comes in the wake of the fifteenth INF Netball World Cup which saw Ryan wearing his international coaching hat for the Northern Ireland team, a role he has held since last November and managed alongside his domestic league commitment as Assistant Coach with 2019 Vitality Netball Superleague champions, Manchester Thunder.
Rhinos, who gain access to the Vitality Netball Superleague in 2021, have much to do in preparation. However, the appointment of Ryan, some eighteen months prior to the season launch, highlights their commitment to a successful transition into the UK’s highest domestic competition.
Immediate tasks for Ryan will include talent identification and acquisition plus strengthening existing partnerships and establishing new connections with potential sponsors, before his focus switches in full towards performance coaching in twelve months’ time.
Speaking about his new venture with Rhinos, Ryan said: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining the Leeds Rhinos family and honoured to be the club’s inaugural Vitality Netball Superleague Head Coach.
“The opportunity to be a part of this sporting club with such a rich history is one I couldn’t pass on. How the club lives and breathes performance sport and truly cares about its people, this is an organisation I really wanted to be aligned to.
The Australian 34-year-old has recently worked as an Assistant Coach with 2019 Vitality Superleague champions Manchester Thunder and says he was thoroughly impressed by what he found at the Rhinos.
“Leeds Rhinos Netball have an incredible offer, providing athletes globally with the chance to be part of an established, professional and successful sporting organisation,” said Ryan.
“This is a world-class training environment with first-class facilities including the many high-performance resources needed to achieve success on both a team and individual level, and I’m confident we can deliver a brilliant and sustainable athlete experience.
“This region is so passionate about netball and it’s just brilliant that elite netball will be back here and thriving once more. It’s going to be a very special journey for all of us as we work towards making our mark in 2021.”
Rhinos Director of Netball, Anna Carter, added: “We are absolutely thrilled to have Dan Ryan joining the team at Rhinos and what perfect timing to have someone of Dan’s calibre in the vicinity as we were awarded Vitality Netball Superleague 2021 entry.
“Clearly, he has the experience necessary to move us forward with this year’s Vitality Netball Superleague title success as proof alone and, of course, his time with Northern Ireland at the Netball World Cup in Liverpool.
“Rhinos is quite the place for performance sport, with elite coaching, strength and conditioning, sport science, medical, education, psychology and wellbeing, all under the one roof providing each athlete with unrivalled support.
“Dan as coach now enhances our offer further again and we’re looking forward to seeing the talent come through from beyond where we once would have thought possible for our Superleague team.”