SEVERN Stars have appointed assistant coach Sam Bird as their new head coach ahead of the 2018 Vitality Netball Superleague campaign.
Having guided the University of Worcester Arena franchise to eighth place in the club’s debut Superleague season under former head coach Mo’onia Gerrard, Bird will now spearhead the side as they look to strengthen ahead of the new campaign.
Gerrard stepped down from the role last month to commit more time to her young family and Bird said she was delighted with her new role.
“I’m looking forward to developing the squad and our performances this season. I’m also excited at the prospect of working with such dedicated players and staff,” she added.
Prior to being Gerrard’s number two, Bird was head coach at the Hertfordshire Mavericks.
She spent 11 years with the Hatfield-based club and became head coach in 2014 for two seasons, leading them into the Superleague play-offs on both occasions.
Last year Bird was appointed England Netball technical coach for the mid court, where she worked with other key performance coaches.
She has also been a national selector for England for the last three years.
Bird represented England from under-16 to senior level, but was forced to retire aged 24 due to a knee injury.
Stars’ director of netball Pamela Cookey said: “We welcome Sam as head coach and look forward to her leading the squad into the 2018 season.
“Sam brings a wealth of experience from her role at the Mavericks and has a clear vision which positions well with the ambitions at Severn Stars.”
Stars kick-off the 2017/18 campaign on Saturday, September 23 when they take part in the inaugural British Fast5 All-Stars Championship.