End of an era for Beardwood
04 August 2011
After two seasons Mary Beardwood is stepping down as Head Coach of Surrey Storm. Beardwood has been Head Coach since the Surrey Storm franchise began in 2009 and will become the club's first honorary Vice President in recognition of the contribution she has made to Surrey Storm.
In her two seasons with Storm the ex-England coach has taken the team through two very successful campaigns, leading the regular season ladder in their inaugural season in the Netball superleague, following by finishing runner up in the Grand Final in 2011.
She built a very strong team in a very short space of time, bringing in experienced internationals such as Tamsin Greenway and Rachel Dunn, blending them with some young exciting talent to create a major force within the game.
Storm franchise director Gems Leaming said:
"Mary built a team from nothing overnight and her impact has been enormous. She has built a very strong platform for the future development of Surrey Storm netball which we are now looking to progress further. There is a very strong base of well coached, well organised and highly motivated talent here for the next coach to work with thanks to Mary."
Commenting on her decision Mary said:
"It is a wrench to leave Storm as I have really enjoyed the last two seasons and they are a great group of players. However the time required to give the role its full commitment is enormous and I feel the time is right to pass this responsibility onto someone else. I wish Surrey Storm every success in the future."
Commenting on Beardwood's departure, Surrey Sports Park CEO Paul Blanchard said:
"Everyone at Surrey Sports Park and Surrey Storm wish Beardwood all the best for the future and thank her for her hard work and commitment leading to the team's successful first two years in the Superleague. The success of Storm has been a major factor in the growth of the Surrey Sports Park and an explosion in interest in the sport in the region. She will be missed but we hope she will continue to support the franchise in her new role as the Club's first Vice President."
London and South East Netball have also been complimentary of Beardwood's commitment. Chairman Lindsay Sartori said:
"On behalf of the London and South East Netball's Regional Management Board I should also like to thank Mary Beardwood for her leadership and commitment over the last two years. Mary stepped into the breach, as did Surrey Sport Park, and played a key role in ensuring that SuperLeague and elite performance Netball continued in the Region after Brunel Hurricanes stepped down as a franchise in early 2009. Mary's experience as a previous England coach has been invaluable and is much appreciated. We wish her well in her future endeavours and hope to see her as a spectator at future Storm games."