Netball: New Zealander Natalie Milicich takes over national team this week

New Zealander Natalie Milicich will assume her duties as the new national netball coach this week, replacing compatriot Ruth Aitken who stepped down last year.
New Zealander Natalie Milicich will assume her duties as the new national netball coach this week, replacing compatriot Ruth Aitken who stepped down last year.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/NATALIE MILICICH

SINGAPORE - New Zealander Natalie Milicich will assume her duties as the new national netball coach this week, replacing compatriot Ruth Aitken who stepped down last year.

Netball Singapore (NS) confirmed the news on Monday evening, after The Straits Times reported the appointment over the weekend.

Milicich, a 50-year-old mother of four, was most recently the high performance manager and head coach of New Zealand's Netball Central Zone, champions of the Beko Netball League in June. The Beko Netball League is a developmental competition one tier below the ANZ Premiership, which is New Zealand's top domestic league.

In a statement, Milcich, who is believed to have arrived on Sunday, said: "I'm excited to be here and look forward to settling in and working with this team of talented sportswomen.

"I spoke with Ruth when I accepted the job and I'm confident I will continue her legacy and lead the team well."

Added Jessica Tan, president of NS: "We are delighted to appoint Natalie as the new coach for the national team and look forward to working closely together with her to continue developing the team. We believe she is the right fit for the post and her extensive experience will be a great boost to the team."

Milicich's first major task is expected to be leading her charges at the Dec 3-9 Mission Foods Nations Cup, where world No. 18 will be up against rivals such as Malaysia. There is also the Asian Championships held on home soil next year.