Loughborough Lightning have today unveiled Anna Carter as their new Director of Netball ahead of the 2018 Vitality Netball Superleague season.
Carter is a former England international, but more recently Head Coach at Yorkshire Jets. In 2017 Carter took up the Lightning U21 Head Coach role, guiding the team to victory at the season ending tournament, so is familiar with the Loughborough University franchise.
At a student level, Carter has led Leeds Beckett to three BUCS Championships and four league wins, and is also an England Netball Technical Coach and National Academy selector. She was also Head Coach at the England Netball Manchester INTC, before the Red Roses relocated to a central base at Loughborough University.
On commencing her new role Carter will spearhead a four strong coaching team, working with Assistant Coaches Olivia Murphy and Maggie Birkinshaw, as well as supporting new Pathway Head Coach Emily Perry.
Murphy is a stalwart of the Lightning setup, having been Head Coach in the past and now working with the centre court players. Birkinshaw on the other hand joined Lightning at the start of last season, the former England international proving a revelation with the circle defenders. What’s more, Birkinshaw was also Assistant Coach to Carter at Jets, meaning that partnership should hit the ground running.
With the signings of Carter and Perry and increased Sports Science & Medical support for 2018, Lightning will have a formidable team behind them when they aim for further success.
Of her new role Carter said: “I’m very excited to be appointed to this role with Loughborough Lightning, to have the privilege of working with some great athletes, and to build a strong squad for the season ahead – a Commonwealth Games season.
“I’m passionate about developing athletes to be their best and absolutely delighted to working alongside Maggie and Liv. We will do our utmost to build on the superb legacy that Karen has left.”
Of this key appointment Executive Director of Sport John Steele commented: “We are delighted to welcome Anna to Loughborough University as our new Director of Netball.
“Anna comes with a strong playing and performance coaching pedigree and it will be exciting to watch progress as she heads up our coaching team alongside Olivia Murphy, Maggie Birkinshaw and other guest coaches.
“With Emily Perry recently appointed as our Pathway Head Coach and our expanded sports science & medicine support team we have cemented a strong team around our players.
“We are very proud of our team’s achievements and our athletes who have gone on to win age group and senior caps in the past year.
“Anna has some big shoes to fill – Grand Finalists in the Superleague and BUCS Champions last season – but we are confident she can build on last year’s success.”
Carter will replace outgoing Head Coach Karen Atkinson, who leaves the franchise having guided the team to table topping success in 2017. Atkinson will lead the team for the final time at this weekend’s Fast5 All-Stars.