May 2019 marks the end of an era at Cowbridge Netball Club as head coach of 18 years, Shaun Williams hands over the reins to the next generation. Williams, 60, is set to emigrate to Australia at the end of the month and she leaves behind an incredible legacy.

Cowbridge Netball Club was formed from two Bridgend sides in 1974. Shaun played with the club for 27 years until making the move into coaching.

Over the years, Cowbridge has played an important role in the early careers of many of Wales’ best-known netball stars. Notable players in positions right across the court have played with the Vale of Glamorgan club over the years, including Kelly Morgan, Bethan Dyke, Leila Thomas, Chelsea Lewis, Amanda Varey and Eleanor Roberts. Moreover, Vitality Netball Superleague umpire Alison Harrison came through the club.

Notwithstanding, Shaun remains very humble about her tenure at Cowbridge. She was quick to praise her colleagues at the club for their contributions to the club’s successes over recent years.

She said: “I would like to thank my assistant coach, Sue Trounce. We have coached together for many years, not only in the club but also in Hubs and County. Christine Hiscocks, our team manager ensures that the team runs like clockwork and our strength and conditioning gentlemen, Steve and Glyn have been great. I’m also grateful to all the parents who bring their girls.”

Shaun added: “Cowbridge Netball is more than a team, it’s a way of life and a family. The club helps young women on the road to success in all walks of life. We are always there side by side.

“I don’t believe in magic, I believe in hard work and dedication.”

Shaun also quoted All Blacks rugby legend, Richie McCaw and said: “When your team is winning be ready to be tough because it can make you soft. On the other hand when your team is losing stick by them and keep them believing.”

Veteran of Wales and Celtic Dragons, Kelly Morgan will be taking over from Shaun as head coach of Cowbridge Netball Club – testament to the connection with our clubs that elite players maintain throughout their netball careers. Morgan, a research fellow at Cardiff University, will be looking to lead the club to success and inspire the next generation of Welsh and Superleague netball stars.

Morgan shared her excitement at being appointed as the club’s new head coach. She said: “It’s my absolute privilege to be taking over from Shaun as Head Coach of Cowbridge Netball Club. Coming up through the ranks in Cowbridge myself and being fully supported as an international player, I know just what a fantastic club it is.

“Shaun has been amazing over the years and I’m now excited to have this opportunity to share all of my knowledge and experience to help each and every player develop further.”

There will be little respite from netball in Shaun’s new environment. Shaun’s daughter, Victoria, coaches the Queensland state’s U17 academy and Shaun will be on the doorstep of the Queensland Firebirds, so we have no doubt that she will still be ‘living la vida netball’ in her new home! She will also be keeping in touch with Kelly and all things Cowbridge from Down Under.

“I wish Kelly all greatest of success with our Cowbridge team and I will be watching from afar and keeping up to date with her,” added Williams.

Wales Netball would like to thank Shaun for all of her hard work with Cowbridge over years and wish her a very happy retirement out in Australia.