Adelaide Thunderbirds Head Coach Dan Ryan has landed a major coup with the recruitment of dual premiership coach Jane Woodlands-Thompson as an assistant coach for the 2018 Suncorp Super Netball season.
Woodlands-Thompson stepped away from the club’s head coaching role at the end of the 2015 season, following eight years at the helm, four of which Ryan was her assistant.
Woodlands-Thompson said the duo made a great team during the ANZ Championship era.
“I look forward to supporting Dan as an assistant the same way he did for me,” she said.
“I love what Dan has done with the roster. The new playing group has been carefully hand-picked for specialised talent, as well as culture fit.
“Working with Dan is so refreshing, he’s such a talented and insightful coach.”
Following her departure from the Adelaide Thunderbirds, Woodlands-Thompson worked with the Auckland-based Northern Mystics in 2016, however a hiatus from netball in 2017 saw her admit she missed the team environment and sport.
“I have missed netball and love being back with the Adelaide Thunderbirds,” she said.
“Being part of a great team is what I’m looking forward to most.”
Head Coach Dan Ryan said after a challenging debut season, the need to add more support in certain areas was a key goal heading into season two.
“One of my biggest learnings in my first year as the head coach is to make sure I have the right people in the right places to support the team and me to be our absolute best,” he said.
“Jane has been a great support to me over the years, so the strength of our relationship both professionally and personally will be a huge asset to the team.”
Ryan said while the two are quite different coaches, their values and standards are similar, and therefore they complement each other well.
“Jane has really bought into my vision for the team and the direction I want to take to the club,” he said.
Woodlands-Thompson will remain in her current roles of Head of Sport Development and High Performance at Westminster School and as a SANFL Commissioner.
The appointment of Woodlands-Thompson rounds out Ryan’s coaching panel for the 2018 season with Jane Searle returning for her second year as an assistant coach.
The executive team for the Adelaide Thunderbirds has also been further bolstered with former-New Zealand hockey international, Melody Cooper, appointed to the role of General Manager – Adelaide Thunderbirds and Elite Pathways.
Cooper, who represented New Zealand at an international level 48 times, including at the London Olympic Games, has a thorough knowledge of high performance sport from her time as an elite player and coach and brings strong business and commercial acumen to the role from her professional career.
Netball SA CEO, Ben Scales, said Cooper and Woodlands-Thompson are great additions to the club and will complement the existing team support staff they join.
“Melody and Jane bring great skill sets and vast experience to the club,” Scales said.
“They will be valuable assets to Dan, the athletes and team’s support staff as we look to build a strong culture and sustainable success across the club in 2018 and beyond,” Scales said.
To become a member of the Adelaide Thunderbirds for the 2018 season click here.
General Manager, Adelaide Thunderbirds and Elite Pathways – Melody Cooper
Head Coach – Dan Ryan
Assistant Coaches – Jane Searle and Jane Woodlands-Thompson
Operations Manager – Deb Kassing
High Performance Advisor and Performance Psychologist – Dr Tom Patrick
Doctor – Dr Angela Moran
Physiotherapist – Scott Smith
Performance Analyst – Tim Rawlings
Nutritionist – Lauren Stribley
Leadership Consultant – Karen Slape
Chaplain – Emma George