UNIVERSITY OF BATH
The University of Bath-based side have been the outstanding team in the two seasons of the Superleague – the national elite netball league – winning both titles contested so far. They bid to make it three in a row when the new Superleague season gets underway in October.
Jan Crabtree continues as head coach of the team after masterminding their two successful Superleague campaigns. She is joined by a new assistant coach Jess Garland – a former TeamBath player and rated as one of the country’s most talented young netball coaches.
Jan said: “We’re already beginning to prepare for the new season, even though the Superleague starts a little later this year.
“We’re delighted to have Jess on board as a coach. She is TeamBath through and through and we hope she will play a major role in helping us retain the title in the coming season.”
Jess is a former England international player and played for TeamBath in all five of their campaigns in the Super Cup – the forerunner to the Superleague. She was also a member of the TeamBath team that won the inaugural Superleague in 2005/6.
After retiring as a player in 2006, Jess became head coach of Celtic Dragons for the 2006/7 Superleague campaign, when she also coached the University of Bath first team in British Universities Sports Association (BUSA) competitions.
Jess has already coached England teams at under-17 and under-19 levels and is a member of England’s under-21 coaching team.
Her potential as one of the country’s top young coaches was recognised when in 2006 she was named on UK Sport’s Elite Coach programme.
“I really enjoyed my time with Celtic Dragons last season. It was my first year of full-time coaching and a really good experience for me,” said Jess.
“But coming back to TeamBath, which I have had such a long affiliation with, feels like I’m coming back home,” she added. “I’ll be facing a different challenge here, but I think it’s a great time to be involved with TeamBath.
“With so many TeamBath players away with England at the World Championships at the beginning of this season, some of the other teams might think it’s their year to win the Superleague,” she added. “But we’ve got some great youngsters coming through and that makes it an even more exciting time to be part of the TeamBath coaching team.”
The University of Bath has one of the leading university sports departments in the UK. Under its TeamBath brand, its success is based on the expertise and dedication of staff, and its excellent facilities, used by the community and Olympic medal winners alike.
photos Janos Schmidt