Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander will serve a record 10th straight season in the position after signing a one-year contract extension. The new deal takes Alexander past next year’s World Cup and through to the end of the 2020 campaign.
The Diamonds deal will make Alexander Australia’s longest consecutively serving head coach. She will share the record for most seasons coached with Jill McIntosh, who was in charge from 1995-2003, after also having held the post in 1992.
“I am thrilled to be offered an extension to my contract,” she said. “It is heartening to know that I have the support of Netball Australia to continue with the Diamonds on our journey to be the world’s best high-performance program.”
Most recently, Alexander took the Diamonds to a silver medal at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Contract negotiations include an option for Alexander to extend the contract even further and until after the 2023 Commonwealth Games.
The Diamonds will start the next edition of the Quad Series on Saturday with a match against South Africa in Auckland. They then return home for games against England in Newcastle next Wednesday and New Zealand in Melbourne on September 23.
South African coach Norma Plummer is tipping Australia will be pushed to defend their Quad Series title. The Proteas coach says England’s Commonwealth Games triumph, when they pipped Australia for gold in April, was symptomatic of gains made by immersion in Super Netball.
England’s best players are spread throughout the league and, increasingly, so are Plummer’s leading Proteas.
“You can just see that when they’re given an opportunity to go and play in other leagues, they benefit from the harder training and games that are like grand finals every weekend,” Plummer said.