Netball: Thunderbirds sack coach

Rebecca Bulley of the Thunderbirds walks off after losing the Minor Semi Final ANZ Championship match between the Magic and the Thunderbirds. Photo / Getty Images.
Rebecca Bulley of the Thunderbirds walks off after losing the Minor Semi Final ANZ Championship match between the Magic and the Thunderbirds. Photo / Getty Images.

The Adelaide Thunderbirds have taken the extraordinary step of removing head coach Michelle den Dekker mid-season.

In a statement released this afternoon, the Netball South Australia said they have reached a mutual agreement to part ways immediately "in light of the new 2017 competition and opportunities presented to Michelle to further her career".

It is the first time in the ANZ Championship a head coach has been axed mid-season.
Australia's new domestic league will feature three new franchises - one based out of the Collingwood AFL club in Melbourne, another in Sydney and the other based in the Sunshine Coast with ties to NRL club the Melbourne Storm.

The Thunderbirds, who won two titles under former coach Jane Woodlands-Thompson, are the only team in the ANZ Championship without a win this season.

Current Thunderbirds assistant coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell has been appointed interim coach for the remaining five games of the season.

The players are focused on Sunday's game against the West Coast Fever at Priceline Stadium and finishing off the ANZ Championship season strongly.

Netball SA will begin the search for a new coach next week to ensure a coach is in place before the recruitment window opens for the new National Netball League in August.

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