Wodonga has looked externally for its new coach.
Shea Cunningham has been coaching the lower grades with Brock-Burrum for the past five years, but admits it has been a goal to mentor at the region’s highest level.
“I have been working my way along the Victorian netball pathways and to keep progressing, I need to keep challenging myself,” she said.
Cunningham recently led Albury’s under-15 team to sixth place at the state titles, its best-ever achievement at that level.
“I want to turn players into decision-making players, rather than robots,” she said.
“From grassroots level, I want players to develop knowledge and confidence.
“To become natural players, who can read the situation and act accordingly.”
The mother-of-two boasts an impressive resume, having worked with Australian coach Lisa Alexander.
“She took a professional development session, asking for an analysis of a top-level domestic match,” she said.
“We had to look at the strengths and weaknesses of both sides.
“We looked at the difference between match-day coaching.
“Lisa instilled that you must have confidence with yourself, and trust your gut instinct.
“Follow your instinct as to what decision you think is best.”
The 32-year-old’s role will be restore Wodonga back to the top of the O and M.
Wodonga claimed the 2015 premiership against Yarrawonga in a one-goal thriller, snapping an 11-year drought.
But the retirement of a number of players, including Toni Wilson medallist Rebecca Cameron, robbed the team of firepower and it missed finals.
In her time in the Hume association, Cunningham missed finals only once with her junior outfits.
And the accountant will adopt a scientific approach in plotting Wodonga’s revival.
“The days of 5km runs at training are over,” she said.
“It’s all about strength and conditioning and getting your heart rate up.”
While Wodonga’s climb back up the ladder is her priority, Cunningham will encourage all players to push for representative honours.
“I want to try and help anyone reach the higher level if they want to, and I will be looking to help them achieve it,” she said.
Cunningham won’t play next year, and instead will focus on improving Wodonga and her own coaching aspirations.
“I would love to be an assistant coach for a State junior team,” she said.
Cunningham has signed for two years.
The club will host its first try-out on November 15.