Netball: Leeds Rhinos coach Dan Ryan is set to return Down Under

Aussie coach Dan Ryan has decided to end his Leeds Rhinos adventure and return Down Under after three years living overseas.

By Steve Heptinstall
Friday, 20th August 2021, 5:22 pm
MOVING ON: Dan Ryan is to leave his role as Leeds Rhinos Netball head coach. Picture: Gary Longbottom.
MOVING ON: Dan Ryan is to leave his role as Leeds Rhinos Netball head coach. Picture: Gary Longbottom.

The 37-year-old cited time spent away from family and complications associated with the Covid pandemic for his decision.

“I’ve absolutely loved my time with Leeds Rhinos Netball and coaching the inaugural team has been one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences of my career so far,” said Ryan, who has been at Rhinos for two years and led the team to the finals in their maiden season.

“Living overseas does come with some big sacrifices though and being so far away from home for so long has been challenging, especially over the past 12 months.

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“It’s really sad to be ending my time in the UK, but I know this is the right decision and I’m excited to be closer to my family again and see what’s next for me.”

Leeds Rhinos Netball’s franchise director, Dan Busfield, said: “I would like to thank Dan for his huge contribution to our franchise over the last two years – from developing the elite training programme to leading our team to the Superleague Finals Weekend in our first season.

“Dan has been there from the start of our journey and his passion and enthusiasm has helped build a team that has been exciting and entertaining to watch and internally he has created a team culture that we believe will allow our franchise to flourish and succeed in the future.

“We will now begin the recruitment process to bring in a new head coach to join our exciting coaching set-up that includes assistant coach Maggie Birkinshaw and head of athletic performance and development, Dr Sarah Whitehead.

“We are confident we will be able to attract a strong calibre of coach who will be able to build on the strong foundations from our first season.”

Ryan added: “I’m incredibly proud of all of the success we achieved together this year. Seeing the individual players and the team grow and develop into a real force is something I’ll cherish for a very long time.

“I’m really confident that we’ve built a great foundation here for a really sustainable and bright future for the club and netball in Yorkshire.”

And he predicted: “We’ve secured a great playing list for 2022 and I know that the new head coach coming in will do a brilliant job and continue to build on what we started this year.”