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Strathclyde Sirens appoint new Head Coach

Lesley MacDonald has been announced as Strathclyde Sirens Head Coach for the Vitality Netball Superleague 2020 season. Claire Maxwell announced as Assistant Coach/Player for the 2020 Vitality Netball Superleague Season. Scotland international Claire Maxwell has also been announced as part of the coaching team where she will take up a player-coach role.

Following the assignment of Karen Atkinson as Technical Director, Lesley and Claire will work with Karen to deliver an unprecedented Vitality Netball Superleague programme that will also play an integral role within Netball Scotland’s wider performance strategy.

Lesley MacDonald has a wealth of experience being Scotland’s highest ever capped player of 132 international games played, as well as racking up over nine years of high-performance coaching experience, most notably acting as Assistant National Coach at the recent Vitality Netball World Cup and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 alongside Gail Parata.

As for Claire Maxwell, she recently achieved her 100th international cap at the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 and has Captained Sirens since inception in 2017 and the National Squad since 2016. Claire has extensive coaching experience having acted as Assistant National Coach at U21 level, as well as creating and delivering the hugely impactful community programmes for Sirens, and on top of all this, working full time as a teacher in Physical Education.

Lesley MacDonald said: “I am extremely honoured and grateful to be given the opportunity to lead the Strathclyde Sirens into their fourth season. I am excited to be working alongside Karen Atkinson and also to re-establish the coaching partnership with the inspirational Claire Maxwell.

I have big shoes to fill, but I’m looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead. I cannot wait for our first home game and to have our amazing supporters behind our new Strathclyde Sirens.”

Claire Maxwell said: “I am really excited about this opportunity and to continue to grow as a person, player and coach during the 2020 Strathclyde Sirens season. I am very passionate about this team and franchise and I will endeavour to do my best to enhance the programme further.”

Karen Atkinson said: “It is exciting times at Strathclyde Sirens, and I am thrilled that Lesley MacDonald will be leading the squad in the forthcoming season, ably assisted by Claire Maxwell.  The fact that Sirens has two up and coming coaches of the calibre of Lesley and Claire is phenomenal and I am a big believer in investing in your own people.  Lesley is an extremely knowledgeable and driven individual who understands high-performance sport.  She is also a quality person with high values and self-awareness which to me are the foundations of an excellent coach.  Claire is the heartbeat of the Strathclyde Sirens.  She is passionate, knowledgeable and demands high standards from herself and those around her.  I am excited to be working with them both as we look to provide the best possible preparation for the Sirens squad ready for the 2020 season.”

Strathclyde Sirens have thanked Gail Parata for her incredible work with the squad over the last three seasons. Gail will now take this time to focus on the National Programme and her Head of Performance role at Netball Scotland.

To stay up to date with the Vitality Netball Superleague, including player movements, tickets and the latest news make sure you sign up to the Vitality Netball Superleague mailing list, you can sign up here.

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