Netball Fiji has announced the appointment of Julie Hoornweg as the Fiji Pearls coach for the World Netball Cup qualifiers event that will be held in Rarotonga, Cook Islands in June.
She will also coach the Pearls in the Tri-series Plus One scheduled for May 6-9 against Northern Ireland and Papua New Guinea here in Suva
Ms Hoornweg, is no stranger to Fiji – she was the national coach in the late-1990s, and coached the national side to the 1999 World Netball Championship in Christchurch, New Zealand, where Fiji came in sixth, our best finish ever in this event so far.
After Fiji, she was coach of the England national side for several years, before she returned to Melbourne to coach the Melbourne Phoenix in the Commonwealth Bank Trophy and the Melbourne Vixens in ANZ Championship.
She was named Netball Australia’s coach of the year in 2009 and 2012 after premiership wins with both teams.
Earlier this month, Ms Hoornweg was named in the International Netball Federation’s Coach Advisory Panel alongside other prominent international coaches such as Yvonne Willering and Jill McIntosh.
This is the technical panel that advises the INF Board on all aspects of Coaching to assist the INF achieve its vision, value and strategic goals as outlined in the strategic plan.
Netball Fiji President Wainikiti Bogidrau said Fiji was really fortunate to have someone of Ms Hoornweg’s calibre as national coach.
“We all know of her capability, skills and experience and we are fortunate to have secured her services for the Fiji Pearls,” she said.
In the last few weeks, Ms Hoornweg has been in Singapore conducting coaching clinics as part of her commitment to give something back to the sport.
Ms Hoornweg said she was pleased to assist Fiji in their preparation for the World Netball Cup in Sydney next year.
“Obviously, the major objective would be to ensure that Fiji wins the tri-series next month and successfully defends the Pacific Netball Series title in the Cook Islands.”
Meanwhile, Netball Fiji has named the Fiji Pearls team for the Tri-Series plus One event.
The team includes four new reps, secondary school students Vilisi Davui of Suva, Kelera Nawai of Lautoka; Fiji U21 reps Deborah Delana and Ana Rusivakula. Teimumu Vukinavanua and Sera Dakuitoga have reclaimed positions in the national side, after a lay-off of about two years.
The other players are Matila Waqanidrola, Alesi Waqa, Vaiti Waqatabu, Maria Lutua, Afa Rusivakula, Asilika Sevutia and Nina Cirikisuva. Australian based Jane Costello and Alisi Naqiri of Nadi have also been named as training partners for the Fiji Pearls.
The team will be managed by RubyAnn Sorovaki and the technical officer is former national rep Alivina Waqa. Ms Hoornweg will join the team later this month.
Three players who are not available for the May series are Raijeli Davua, Unaisi Rauluni and Taraima Mitchell.
“Raijeli and Una, will be playing in the National Singapore League series under the mentoring of former Silver Ferns coach Ruth Aitken. Taraima will be overseas in the next 3-4 weeks.”
All three will be considered for the PNS team.
Netball Fiji has also confirmed that a Fiji A Squad is being prepared to play the curtain raiser matches against the Tongan national side during the series.
“The team is mainly made up of players from the Extended Fiji squad inclusive of those that did not make the Fiji Pearls team for the May series,” Ms Bogidrau said.
“Players in the Fiji A squad are also serious contenders for a spot in the team to be named for the PNS.”
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