Experienced international coach Julie Hoornweg has been appointed to lead the new Auckland-based team in the inaugural ANZ Netball Elite League beginning in 2017.

Hoornweg joins the new Auckland side with an impressive resume of high performance and coaching credentials, including helping to develop the sport in a number of countries around the globe.

The successful coach of the Melbourne Vixens in the formative years of the ANZ Championship, Hoornweg has also coached the national sides of England and Fiji, and helped to shape the game in Singapore.

“We are delighted that one of Netball’s most respected and knowledgeable coaches will join the team here in Auckland,” Board Chair of the team, Bill Francis said. “We know Julie will make a significant contribution to the development of our elite athletes and our coaching programmes.”

Hoornweg played Netball for Victoria before moving into the realm of coaching. She was the Australian National Coaching Director from 1989 to 1991, and became head coach of the Victorian Institute of Sport and the Melbourne Phoenix, who won the then national league - Commonwealth Bank Trophy - under her guidance in 2005.

In 2008, she led the Melbourne Vixens team into the new era of trans-Tasman Netball rivalry – the ANZ Championship – winning the title in the league’s second year. That victory led to her being named the Australian Coach of the Year for a second time.

“Having started the Vixens from scratch, I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to help create a new, vibrant team in Auckland,” Hoornweg said.

“I’m passionate about developing young athletes and extending experienced players, and it’s an exciting prospect to be part of building a new Netball league from the outset.”

Hoornweg also understands what is needed to bring the best out of teams with different international styles. She has enjoyed two stints coaching the Fiji Pearls national Netball team (from 1997-1999, and again in 2014), and was made an Officer of the Order of Fiji for her services to the sport. Hoornweg also lived and worked in the United Kingdom, as All England High Performance coach and then England’s national coach from 2000–2002.

In recent years, Hoornweg has been a consultant to the Singapore Netball Association, and in 2014, was appointed to the eight-person International Coaching Advisory Panel which advises the INF Board on all aspects of coaching.

“I’m really looking forward to coaching the New Zealand style of Netball and blending that with my current skill set,” she says.

“Sustainable success is a priority for this new team through building a winning culture. Establishing pathways for the community to aspire to and passing on our skills and abilities will ensure the growth and development of Netball”.

Fan and community engagement will be a priority and one of the focus areas for the team to ensure they make critical and positive links with players amongst the community.