Former star netball player Eloise Southby has been appointed head coach of the ACU Sovereigns’ championship side for the 2018 Victorian Netball League season.
The former Australian Diamond and Melbourne Phoenix goal shooter has taken the reins from John Curran, who is stepping down due to growing commitments with the Melbourne Vixens.
Southby is a familiar face around the Sovereigns, having been taken on as the club’s high performance manager in 2014.
In the role, she has worked across all grades from junior right through to senior teams.
ACU Sovereigns chairman Bill Mundy said the appointment of Southby as coach was one the club could not resist.
The club believed she would bring a high level of coaching skill to the team and was the ideal person to support the development of the athletes.
“The transition from an old coach to a new coach can be quite a challenge, but having had Eloise around the club for some time, we see that having her come in as head coach will be quite a smooth transition,” he said.
“She has such a great reputation in terms of the work that she has done with our athletes in the past and her reputation within netball itself is quite significant.”
Southby is a Commonwealth Games gold medalist, was part of the 2003 world championships runner-up team and has helped the Phoenix to five titles.
“With the pedigree that Eloise can bring to the role in terms of having played 34 tests (for Australia), and being a quality goal shooter and goal attack player, there is no doubt that she can bring extensive skills and extensive coaching development to the Sovereigns,” Mundy said.
“The work that she has done in the past has always been very well received and the support that we have had for her from the players as a coach in her performance role has been nothing but positive.”
Southby’s first task in her new role will be putting a squad together for next season.
Mundy said the key goals for next year would be improving competitiveness across all levels and supporting the growth of the division one team, which played in finals this year.
Meanwhile, Kim Bailey returns as division one coach and Kerry Lightfoot as the 19/under coach.