Wales Netball Bring In Aussie Julie Hoornweg To Head National Team and Celtic Dragons

Wales and the Celtic Dragons have plugged the gap left by Trish Wilcox by appointing Australian Julie Hoornweg as their new coach.

Hoornweg will take charge of the Dragons for the remainder of their Netball Superleague season and also oversee the national team as they head towards the Commonwealth Games in April.

A former head coach with England, Hoornweg has a tough task on her hands with Wales recently failing to qualify for the 2019 World Cup and the Dragons yet to win a game this season.

That led to Wilcox’s sudden dismissal from both joint posts in January and plenty of sour-searching within the sport.

But the Aussie – who takes the reins from previous stand-in Natalie Peperell – can boast plenty of top level experience.

Sarah Jones, Welsh Netball chief executive, said: “It is absolutely fantastic for Wales and Celtic Dragons that we are able to welcome Julie to the coaching team.”

“Julie has an exceptional track record as a head coach that spans the last two decades. Her range of experience across the netball world will be hugely beneficial to our players in both the Superleague season and the Commonwealth Games.”

“Julie’s appointment is interim and we are happy that Julie was able to commit to Wales and Celtic Dragons at short notice.”

“Julie will take the lead for the Superleague season and the Commonwealth Games before returning to her family in Australia at the end of the season.”

Hoornweg began her career as a netball player in the Australian state of Victoria. She then moved into coaching, becoming the Fiji national coach in 1997.

Hoornweg was England high performance coach and then England’s national coach from 2000–2002. England finished fourth at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

In 2008, she won the Trans-Tasman Netball League with the Melbourne Vixens.

That victory led to her being named the Australian Coach of the Year for a second time.

In recent years, Hoornweg has been a consultant to the Singapore Netball Association and has coached in New Zealand.

She left the Northern Stars franchise in Auckland last year after one unsuccessful season as they finished second-last of the six teams in the ANZ Premiership with four wins from 11 matches.


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