2020 marks the start of our exclusive partnership with Randwick Netball Association. Randwick have been a part of the Sparks since the beginning, providing support for our players in their pursuit of their netball careers.
With 50 years of netball history Randwick netball is an iconic association. Their strong presence in netball from juniors through to open age teams creates a strong foundation and pathway into premier league. We are honoured to work with an association that has created such a strong legacy in the NSW netball community and look forward to a new chapter in the NSW Premier League competition as “UTS Randwick Sparks”.
-2020 Support Staff-
Sparks are very lucky to have Dave Hillard as our Head physiotherapist for the 2020 season. Dave’s experience in the high-performance environment is second to none. When he’s not working in his practice as director of Zone 34, he is the Head of Medical Services with the Australian Boomers basketball team and the lead physiotherapist for the Sydney Kings NBL team. The UTS Sparks are excited to work with and learn from a professional of the sporting world.
A big welcome to our strength and conditioning coach Lachlan Dodd. Lachlan is an alumni of UTS, completing his Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science in 2017. Lachlan brings his experience across from his work with the NRL as a sports scientist, where he works closely with the strength and conditioning of the referees. In addition to the NRL, Lachlan works with UTS Sport in the newly formed strength and conditioning department, coaching UTS affiliated high performance clubs such as the AWL Women’s team from UTS Balmain Water polo and North Sydney Bears Cricket Club.
A big warm Sparks welcome to our U23s coaching team Karen Stonnil and Jo Conway! We are beyond excited to have Karen and Jo lead our U23s Sparks in the 2020 season.
Head coach Karen’s coaching expertise led her to a premiership in 2019 with her Division 1 Metro League Team. Combined with her high- level netball coaching Karen’s experience as a strength and conditioning coach allows her to push her players to new levels.
Assistant coach Jo Conway carries her coaching experience over from the Sydney Netball Academy. Jo’s shooting expertise dates back to her time as a player in the Mobil Super League where she played amongst some very familiar names in the Sydney Cenovis team; Sharyn Hill (UTS Sparks Technical Director) Liz Ellis and Cath Cox just to a name a few.
We are excited to see this coaching duo bleed teal for the 2020 Premier League Season!
Welcome back to newly appointed Opens Head Coach Ali Tucker and Opens Head Coach/Technical Director Sharyn Hill. We are very lucky to have these big names back with the UTS Sparks for the 2020 NSW Premier League season. These two are no strangers to the netball court not only with their immense coaching experience but also their playing experience.
Ali Tucker took to the court as a defender in Commonwealth Bank trophy with the Sydney Sandpipers as well as being selected as an Australian Diamonds squad member. Ali’s elite coaching accreditation has her heavily involved in the current Netball NSW State program as the U19s assistant coach.
With a re-structure for our 2020 season; Sharyn Hill is now our Technical Director and Opens Head Coach.
Sharyn will be leading our coaching team with years of experience behind her. A few of her coaching accolades include coaching the U21s Singapore team, multiple years as a state coach for ACT Netball and co-coaching the ANL Canberra Giants side in 2017/18. Sharyn also represented the Sydney Cenovis in Mobile Super League which evolved into the Commonwealth Bank trophy where she represented the Sydney Swifts playing against her coaching partner Ali Tucker.
Our players are lucky to be coached by 2 veterans of the sport not only assisting our players in their development on the court but their development as professional athletes too.
💥 ROUND 8 | MATCH REVIEW 💥
A tough night in the office for both our Sparkies teams, but nonetheless a great effort from everyone. A special shout-out also goes to our Junior and Senior Academy girls who were awesome cheerleaders on the sidelines for both games.
⚡ 7PM | OPENS ⚡
It was a shaky start for our Opens when Heart took out the first 4 goals, however a lovely intercept by WD Belinda Loveday on the circle edge saw the Sparks find their feet and get into the game. Despite some tough circle defence by Heart, GA Natalie Eldridge delivered some beautiful drives in and around the circle, whilst C Kaitlyn Fisher and WA Amy Parmenter remained patient in feeding strongly.
The second quarter saw the Sparks start down by 7, but with the help of early intercepts by GK Matilda O’Donnell, Belinda Loveday, and multiple forced errors all round, Sparks quickly closed the gap to within 3. Jordan Bedingfield also came on into WD, making a great impact in threatening Heart’s attack.
The second half saw a few changes to the Sparks side, but the full court defence and handsover pressure remained strong, seeing even more turnovers. Ngawai Eyles, Amy Parmenter and Belinda Loveday also continued to control the attacking end and maintain composure, helping their side come back to within 3 at one point.
Although an incredibly gutsy effort throughout the match, we couldn’t quite catch Heart who in the end took out the game by 6. Make sure to catch our Opens back in action next week at 8:40pm where they take on the Manly Warringah Sapphires!
💣 8:40PM | U20S 💣
The first quarter certainly set the tone for the electrifying game to come between the U20s Sparks and Central Coast Heart.
With a couple of early turnovers forced by some great defensive pressure and handsover by GK Ash Selwyn and GD Jess Bowden, our Sparkies were off to a quick lead. Heart however, fought back quickly, and with a goal on the buzzer by Sparks GA Abbey Baker, we went into Quarter 2 up by 1.
This sense of urgency and determination from both teams never ceased, with the second quarter proving to be equally as close. A tip from GD Jess Bowden instigated the Sparks return to the lead, and with some beautiful footwork by WA Tahisha Hunt and circle edge drives by Chaise Vassallo, the Sparks were able to feed the circle strongly and increase their lead, going into the third quarter in front.
Slight changes to the team saw the second half start just as strong as the first, as our Sparkies scored the first 4 goals of the quarter thanks to critical turnovers by midcourters WD Clare McChohon and WA Tahisha Hunt, and shooting by GS Ky-Mani Schwenke and GA Georgia Westwood. Despite tireless defence all over the court, particularly by Ash Selwyn and Madi Hilton in the circle, Heart continued to put up a fight, and in the final 3 seconds of the quarter, GA Georgia Westwood put our Sparkies in the lead 1.
The last quarter was tough and intense, going goal for goal for the majority of the final 15 minutes. With around 9 minutes to go, Caitlin Campbell returned to C and Abbey Baker into GA, both stepping up to the immense pressure of the situation and doing an exceptional job in maintaining composure whilst the scores were tied. Although a relentless team effort throughout the entire game, Heart managed to clinch the win by only 1 goal in the final minute of the match.
It was a gallant effort by the whole team. Next week our U20s Sparkies take on Manly Warringah Sapphires at 7PM.