Women's Sport: Australian Diamonds head coach Lisa Alexander to leave role after Netball Australia choose not to renew her contract

2019 Constellation Cup - New Zealand v Australia

Lisa Alexander’s nine-year reign over the Diamonds has been cut short after Netball Australia announced that they would be terminating Alexander’s contract several months early.

The announcement comes as a shock given that the former Diamonds coach was only just in the UK studying closely from the sidelines the Vitality Nations Cup, which Australia chose not to compete in. 

At a Netball Australia press conference in Melbourne where the news was announced one could sense Alexander’s regret:

"I would dearly have loved to continue in the role beyond December 2020, and whilst disappointed with the decision not to renew my contract, I respect the decision of the board to head in a new direction."

Alexander’s tenure has been nothing short of remarkable. Earning 102 caps, the 56-year-old oversaw gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014, gold at the Sydney World Cup in 2015 and boasts an 81 per cent win rate.

But for the team ranked number one in the world, failure is not an option and in the last two major outings: the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2019 World Cup, the Diamonds on both occasions fell agonisingly short, suffering successive one-goal defeats, and it appears for that, she will not be forgiven.

The Diamonds versus the Suncorp Super Netball All-Stars bushfire relief match on March 1 will be her last in charge.

The quest now to fill netball’s biggest shoes will begin early next month in order to allow Alexander’s replacement time with a squad ahead of the 2020 Quad Series and Constellation Cup.

Names already are being thrown around as to who could possibly take up the mantle, the common theme amongst them being that they all currently coach in the SSN, which is something Alexander herself never did.

Certainly whoever is appointed to the role will now know, if they didn’t before, that they must contend with one of sports highest standards; scrutiny will follow them wherever they go and nothing but gold will ever quite be good enough.

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