Wasps Netball have recruited a former England international star as their new Assistant Coach for the next Vitality Netball Superleague campaign.
Lucia Sdao will join up with the reigning champions for the 2019 season, with Head Coach Mel Mansfield identifying her as the perfect appointment.
In her playing days, Lucia was England Vice-Captain and tallied 101 appearances for the national team – whilst playing her domestic netball for Southgate and Derbyshire in her early days and then latterly Oakwood and Middlesex, where she first met Mel.
She won Commonwealth Games Bronze Medal in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and has been coach of the National Premier League sides at Team Bath and most recently Manchester Thunder as well as previously being a National Selector.
Lucia is a Head of Girls Sport at Sedbergh School in Cumbria, where she has guided her netball team to National Schools finals this year – she will take on the Wasps position alongside her full-time job.
She said: “It’s so lovely to be asked to be involved. I’ve known Mel for a very long time, more than 30 years actually, we have become great friends through netball. I was even a bridesmaid at her wedding!
“I’m looking forward to getting started and to have the chance to work with the top-quality players at Wasps.
“Mel is a really intelligent coach, being involved in a set-up which has won back-to-back titles is testament to that.
“She has helped to build a great winning culture at Wasps and I believe the strength of our relationship will help us to push the team on again.
“Of course it’s a big step to coach in the Superleague, but my playing career and experience internationally will hopefully be a huge help.”
Head coach Mel Mansfield said Lucia was her number one target for the Assistant Coach role and her experience playing at the highest level will be important.
“Lucia was the first person I asked. It’s hugely important for me to work with someone who I trust and knows me well,” she said. “Her performance experience will bring a lot to the coaching set-up here and I know she will demand the best from the players.
“The team will have an enormous amount of respect for her because she knows what it takes to be the best.
“Lucia is outgoing, funny and will fit in with our culture at Wasps perfectly and I'm delighted to have her by my side for next season.”