West Coast Fever eyeing dynasty after breakthrough Super Netball title

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Mitchell WoodcockThe West Australian
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West Coast Fever captain Courtney Bruce and coach Dan Ryan celebrate their premiership win.
Camera IconWest Coast Fever captain Courtney Bruce and coach Dan Ryan celebrate their premiership win. Credit: James Worsfold/Getty Images

West Coast Fever coach Dan Ryan predicts his side’s breakthrough Super Netball premiership victory is only the beginning as he eyes a Super Netball dynasty.

Only two players of their listed 10, England import Stacey Francis-Bayman and versatile West Australian Emma Cosh, are out of contract at the end of the season.

This gives Ryan, who is also contracted for next year, and his team a strong foundation to continue their success after defeating minor premiers Melbourne Vixens 70-59 in front of a record Australian domestic netball crowd at RAC Arena on Sunday.

“I think now that we’ve broken through, we’re going to have this hunger to want to do it again,” Ryan said.

“There’s no question about that. I know wholeheartedly there’s another level of standard within this group that we can dive into.

“We found our very best standard (in the grand final), that was our best right now, but there’s more in them. And what we’re going to do is sit in this moment as a team, enjoy it for as long as we possibly can as the history-making West Coast Fever and just embrace and enjoy spending time together in this moment.”

Ryan stepped into the role in place of Stacey Marinkovich, who left the club after seven years to take on the Australian role full-time.

The former Australian men’s captain said a focus on open and honest conversations around the team’s vulnerabilities was just as important as the work on the court.

West Coast Fever coach Dan Ryan celebrates with the crowd.
Camera IconWest Coast Fever coach Dan Ryan celebrates with the crowd. Credit: James Worsfold/Getty Images

“The two main areas for me was to dive deeper into relationships and to talk a little bit more about where our vulnerabilities were and were our potential gaps were and how we could help each other to close those gaps,” Ryan said.

“Evolve our game plan to take it to the next level by utilising the skills of everyone within the team and that slowly came together week by week.

“It culminated in our performances in our two finals and it’s a testament to the girls for trusting the process, staying the course and believing in me and me trusting them as well.

“It’s just unbelievable that it’s come together like it has right now. It feels very surreal because this is just the stuff you dream about and we’re now living it.”

Netball boss Sue Gaudion said Ryan had proved her right in the decision to appoint him as coach.

“I don’t think there are many coaches that come in their first year and do what Dan Ryan’s just done,” she said.

“He was the right guy, I knew it from the start and he proved himself. And he continued to prove himself right up until the grand final.”

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