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Netball - 11. June 2013.

Diamonds add sparkle to coaching support staff


Netball Australia has announced the appointment of two former Australian captains, Margaret Caldow and Michelle den Dekker (nee Fielke), to the Australian Diamonds’ coaching support staff.

The formidable pair will bring a wealth of international experience to the Diamonds’ coaching ranks as the team looks ahead to the Commonwealth Games and World Netball Championships.

Caldow and den Dekker join the Australian Diamonds support staff as Specialist Shooting and Defensive Coaches, respectively.

Between them, Caldow and den Dekker bring 111 international Tests, including 96 as captain, five world championship titles and a Commonwealth Games gold medal to the team as they join coach Lisa Alexander in preparing the Australian Diamonds for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2015 World Netball Championships in Sydney.

“We’re looking to prepare our athletes both physically and mentally for the 24 months ahead so we want to provide our netballers with the opportunity to learn from two of our most experienced players, who have walked in their shoes previously and understand the High Performance standard required,” Australian Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander said.

“Margaret and Michelle bring a great deal to the team and will work closely with me to provide specific training to our athletes.”

Caldow, a talented goal attack, captained Australia for eight years during an international playing career that spanned 17 years, from 1962-1979, and included three World Championship triumphs (1963, 1975, 1979).

As a coach, Caldow mentored many Australian players at the Australian Institute of Sport, Victorian Institute of Sport and as national Assistant coach, and also coached England at the 2007 World Netball Championships.

Following a stellar playing career, Caldow was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame and was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM).

Den Dekker made her Australian debut in 1985, going on to play 84 Test matches in the green and gold, captaining Australia from 1988-1995, winning 65 of 71 games as leader, including two World Championships (1991, 1995) and a Commonwealth gold medal in 1990.

Den Dekker was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 1992, the SA Great Award, for services to sport in South Australia in 1993 and was named South Australia’s greatest ever netballer in 2011.

Julie Fitzgerald will remain in her role as Head Coach at the Australian Institute of Sport, working closely with Netball Australia’s High Performance unit in preparing our athletes for the World Youth Netball Championships in Glasgow.

Along with the support staff appointments, Netball Australia has also announced that former national coach Jill McIntosh, former Australian captain Anne Sargeant and coach Lisa Alexander make up the national selection panel.

Australian Diamonds Support Staff:

Head Coach: Lisa Alexander
Specialist Shooting Coach: Margaret Caldow
Specialist Defensive Coach: Michelle den Dekker
Team Manager: Julie Richardson
Physiotherapist: Steve Hawkins
Physiotherapist: Alana Antcliff
Performance Analyst: TBC
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