To cap off a stunning week of off-court signing for their 2021 campaign, MNNSW are pleased to announce that Nerida Stewart will lead the Men’s 23’s State Team. The former Swift and Underage Aussie player turned elite coach will spearhead the NSW young guns, an age group she has specialised in from the women’s NSW system. As the former head coach of NSWIS, Stewart has peaked and prepared some of the countries top athletes now playing in the Suncorp Series.
Stewart’s combination of elite player and coach representation brings a unique lens to the game, knowing what it takes on and off the court to get the big games won.
“There’s something really special about taking a player of the Swifts vintage and mixing it with our current day state men’s program. When you pair that with her recent role at the helm of NSWIS and a raft of elite coaching gigs, our players will certainly get a healthy dose of what it means to represent the Waratah, from one of the games greats.” President Clare McCabe said.
On court, Stewart was a renowned long bomber – before it earnt you double points – and has adopted this “take the game on” approach into her coaching philosophy.
“When selecting a former player as coach, you do expect to see some of their playing style live on in their coaching approaches. Spend ten seconds with Ned and you will very quickly realise it won’t take much for her to inject new life into our emerging athletes. Expect range, expect ball speed and expect a no excuses culture and a team who leaves everything on the court and takes their chances. That’s runs deep in Ned’s NSW DNA” McCabe added.
Stewart took to the court with some of the greats, including now Nine commentary team members Liz Ellis and Cath Cox among others. Asked if a coach who specialised in shooting was deliberate, McCabe said Stewart is the full package.
“I’ve always thought that shooters have a refreshing lens into the game. They obviously know the tricks to the trade in the shooting bibs, but they also know how middies need to place and work the ball and how a defender can get in a shooters head. Fair to say Ned’s years of coaching post her playing career have equipped her with the smarts in all areas of the court. I just can’t way for it all to come together.”
Stewart’s announcement follows the Opens coaching appointment of Moira Gaha, making the duo the most accredited coaches in the history of MNNSW and setting the pace nationally in off-season signings. Surrounding the duo will be the perfect mix of pathway talent to fill out the coaching placements, to be announced in coming weeks.