Stephen Rielly - Thursday 26 July 2018

Foundation Magpies Netball coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell will step down from her post at the end of the 2018 season.

The experienced and popular Keppich-Birrell informed Magpies Netball players and staff of her decision this afternoon.

Keppich-Birrell led Collingwood’s entry into the ground breaking Suncorp Super Netball competition in 2017 and took the Magpies to within a goal of the preliminary final in that inaugural campaign.

As head coach of a new netball club in a new competition – and one established within what was previously and solely an AFL environment – Keppich-Birrell also took on the responsibility of building a first class and lasting netball program. She did this with distinction.

“I’m very proud to have been involved in the creation of Magpies Netball,” Keppich-Birrell said.

“We wrote the first pages of what I am certain will be a long and successful history. It was all new and such a personal and professional privilege.

“I want to thank my players, who came together from all over the country at relatively short notice and gave all that they had. I owe much to the staff and I want to thank Collingwood for embracing netball, for giving some of the finest female athletes in this country a new platform for their amazing talents.

“I walk away wishing this team and club all the very best and will be forever grateful for the opportunity to coach at the top level at this pivotal time in women’s sport.”

Collingwood chief executive, Mark Anderson, praised Keppich-Birrell for the guidance and expertise she offered to Magpies Netball in the team’s formative years.

“We are proud to have established and built an elite netball program and team as part of our club. The team has added a lot to the club and our environment,” Anderson said.

“As the inaugural coach, Kristy should be proud of the important role she played in establishing the team. She will be forever recognised as the first Magpies Netball coach, someone who helped shape a future we hope and plan will be very successful.”

The process of choosing who will succeed Kristy as Magpies Netball coach for the 2019 season will now commence.