The Adelaide Thunderbirds closed the book on their 2018 Suncorp Super Netball season on Friday night (3 August) in front of a packed-out Priceline Stadium.
After two seasons at the helm it marked Dan Ryan’s last game as Head Coach.
General Manager – Adelaide Thunderbirds and Elite Pathways, Melody Cooper thanked Ryan and the playing group for their passion and commitment.
“Dan has lived and breathed the Adelaide Thunderbirds and gave it everything. Head Coach is a challenging role and Dan’s dedication to the club, playing group and support staff we are grateful for. We wish him all the best for what’s next,” she said.
“Throughout the season the playing group led by Leana de Bruin have shown such resilience. Despite the results the players were united throughout, they continued to play for one another and perform at their best.”
Cooper thanked the club’s support staff for their tireless work throughout the 2018 season.
“The club’s support staff and staff at Netball SA have been invaluable this season. A lot goes on behind-the-scenes to get the team out on court and to execute a home game, and I’m so grateful for their commitment and hard work.”
Cooper acknowledged the Pink Army for their unwavering support throughout the season.
“Despite the results, our members and fans continued to support the team with more than 21,200 people attending across our seven home games.
“Each time we scored a goal, or our defenders intercepted the ball at a home game, our fans erupted into a cheer. I commend the Pink Army’s loyalty and passion for the club and look forward to rewarding that loyalty with sustainable on-court success in the coming seasons.”
With the 2018 SSN season now over for the Adelaide Thunderbirds, the club is looking towards 2019 with the evolution of the Thunderbirds already underway.
“Leading the evolution of change was the announcement in early July that South Australian netball identity Tania Obst is the new Head Coach of the Adelaide Thunderbirds,” Cooper said.
“We are currently building a playing roster for 2019 and beyond featuring key international high calibre players, together with a focus on SA talent. In the coming weeks we will be announcing player signings and then look forward to a strong pre-season.
“We also have a number of elements that are in place or well progressed, including the development of a new Netball SA strategic plan, a new governance structure for the club and creating a greater connection with past players known as ‘Thunderlumni’ who will help celebrate our club’s rich history and educate our current players on what it means to wear the pink dress.”