Welsh Netball is delighted to share the news that Julie Hoornweg, who coached Wales at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, will be returning to Wales as Head Coach of the senior national side.

Hoornweg took charge of Wales and Celtic Dragons last season and will be returning to guide Wales on a journey towards the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

In addition to her experience with Wales, Hoornweg has an outstanding coaching CV, combining extensive experience in both international and franchise netball.

She 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. She was awarded Fiji Coach of the Year in 1998 and was made an Officer of the Order of Fiji in 1999.

Recognised with an Australian Sports Medal in 2000, Hoornweg became head coach of England in the same year. This was followed by a return to Australia where Hoornweg was named Netball Australia Coach of the Year 2005.

Hoornweg has also played a leading role in the development of franchise netball in the trans-Tasman league. She spent several successful seasons the helm of Melbourne Vixens, leading the franchise to a league title and two grand finals in Australia and New Zealand’s elite competition. It was during this time that she once again was awarded the Coach of the Year (2008) award.

She will be joined by a mixture of new and familiar faces in the senior side’s management team.

Working alongside Hoornweg will be new Assistant Coach, Sara Hale. Hale previously played for Wales and Manchester Thunder and in recent years has worked as an assistant coach for the English franchise. She has also worked under Tracey Neville as a defensive technical coach in the English set-up.

Also joining the management team is fellow Assistant Coach, Jenna Culley. Culley has recently worked as Severn Stars Under 21s Head Coach and is Director of Netball at the internationally renowned Millfield School.

The team is supported by returning Team Manager, Lavinia Baker. Baker also worked with Hoornweg at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and has vast experience in supporting national representative sides at tournaments around the world.

Sarah Jones, Welsh Netball CEO shared her thoughts on the appointments:

“Everyone at Welsh Netball is thrilled to be welcoming Julie back to Wales. In her short spell as Interim Head Coach, she made a huge impression and we are pleased that she will be able to resume the work that she started with Wales.

“Julie’s incredible breadth of knowledge and expertise will be complimented back two very exciting assistant coach appointments. Sara has progressed from player to coach and her defensive expertise will add a lot to the squad. Jenna is an expert at nurturing and developing young talent and she will be instrumental to the growth of the national team.

“We are also very pleased that Lavinia will be working with the national team once again. Her organisational and logistical skills are invaluable and she is a great asset to the side.”

Jones added:

“These appointments mark the beginning of our campaign towards the next Commonwealth Games. The hard work begins now and the new management team will be working tirelessly to strive for success as the next generation of Wales players takes up the gauntlet towards 2022.”