The Waikato Bay of Plenty Netball Zone is pleased to announce the appointment of Julie Fitzgerald to the role of Kia Magic Head coach.

Fitzgerald has signed a two year contract through to the end of the 2015 ANZ Championship season.

Waikato Bay of Plenty Netball Zone Chief Executive Tim Hamilton says the zone is delighted to have secured the signature of such an experienced coach.

“We did a thorough search for the best netball coach available to lead Kia Magic into its next era and to build on the outstanding success the team has achieved in its history.”

“To have secured someone of Julie’s calibre is quite an achievement and we are thrilled with the appointment.”

Fitzgerald was Head coach of the ANZ Championship winning NSW Swifts in the inaugural year of the competition in 2008, a position she held until 2011. She then joined the Australian Institute of Sport as Head Coach, Netball.

In 2012, Fitzgerald took up a role as the Assistant Coach of the Australian Diamonds netball team and was Assistant Coach of the Diamonds on their tour of England at the beginning of 2013.

Among her many coaching awards over a period stretching more than 30 years, Fitzgerald was named Netball Australia Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2006.

Fitzgerald will have input into appointing further team management support staff in the coming weeks.

Waikato Bay of Plenty Netball Zone Board Chair John Wiltshire says replacing one of the most successful coaches in ANZ Championship history Noeline Taurua was always going to be tough.

“Julie has big boots to fill, but we believe she’s more than up for the challenge.”

“In appointing Julie, we have a coach that has an outstanding background in coaching, a successful record to boot and a proven ability to work to not only develop talent but to build winning teams,” Wiltshire said.

“In addition, a significant part of Julie’s role will be to lead the education and support of coaches and support people within the Zone’s High Performance Programme ensuring consistent messages are delivered to all representative coaches within the Centres that make up the Zone. 

This is a new role and with Julie’s experience and knowledge we are looking forward to her having a significant impact on the future development of netball in the Zone.”

Newly appointed Kia Magic Head coach Julie Fitzgerald says this was too good an opportunity to miss.

“I am excited to be beginning this new chapter in my coaching career and to have the opportunity to build on the success of such an established team as Kia Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic and assist with the developing of the future coaching and playing talent is fantastic, I can’t wait to begin” she said.

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