Collingwood names inaugural netball coach

Sarah Allen  July 18, 2016 5:50 PM

Collingwood has secured one of netball’s brightest talents Kristy Keppich-Birrell as the inaugural coach of its incoming franchise to compete in the new national netball league starting in 2017.

Keppich-Birrell enters the Holden Centre after a successful career in Victoria’s junior and elite netball ranks that culminated in back-to-back Australian Netball League premierships at the helm of Victorian Fury in 2014 and 2015.

The Melbourne mother of two then took on the role of assistant coach at ANZ Championship franchise the Adelaide Thunderbirds this year, where she was promoted to caretaker coach mid-season.

Keppich-Birrell said it’s an exciting time for netball and women’s sport, and Collingwood is leading the charge.

“It's such a unique moment in time for netball. Collingwood gives our game the platform to explore and discover how two traditionally connected sports can challenge each other in the daily training environment to produce exceptional performances and exceptional people,” she said.

“As part of such a historic sporting club, I hope we can continue to grow netball’s legacy in the greater
community.”

A qualified school teacher, Keppich-Birrell joins General Manager of Netball Jen McIntyre
and General Manager of Next Generation Academies Graeme Allan as the key pillars charged with establishing
the direction of the start-up side and recruiting its foundation players and support staff.

“Our expectations will be high and we make no excuse in aiming to be the greatest club. A place where
athletes are challenged to find their edge as individuals, and most importantly create a team culture that
empowers everyone involved to live our agreed values,” Keppich-Birrell said.

McIntyre brings nearly two decades of sports administration experience to the club, having held high
performance roles at Netball Victoria and at several of Melbourne’s private schools.

Allan returned to Collingwood earlier this year in a role committed to the development, and search for, new talent across
the club’s incoming teams and programs.

Netball Australia named Collingwood as a preferred bidder for the new-look 2017 netball league in May.
The club continues to negotiate with Netball Australia over the proposed licence agreement
with an announcement expected in the near future. 

Kristy Keppich-Birrell: A career in coaching

  • 2016 Adelaide Thunderbirds Caretaker Coach (Rds 10-14 ANZ Championship)
  • 2016 Adelaide Thunderbirds Assistant Coach (ANZ Championship)
  • 2014-2015 Victorian Fury Head Coach (ANL)
  • 2011-2014 Victorian 21 & Under Head Coach
  • 2013 Victorian Flames Assistant Coach (ANL)
  • 2011-2012 Victorian Fury Assistant Coach (ANL)
  • 2005-2007, 2009 Victorian 19 & Under Team Head Coach
  • 2003, 2005, 2007-2009, 2011-12 Australian Schoolgirls Coach