Ryan will take over the position from Tracey Neville, who has been appointed England coach for the upcoming Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015, and said he’s excited by the opportunity to take charge of one of the most successful clubs in the Superleague.
“The timing is right. It’s come at a great time in my life to go away and have some international experience and head up a program of my own and create some of my own success,” Ryan said.
“The Thunder has provided me with a great opportunity and hopefully it leads to bigger and better things in future.”
Ryan finishes his contract with Netball SA at the end of the upcoming Australian Netball League season and will shift to Manchester in late September.
Ryan is serving as assistant coach to Australian 21/U coach Tania Obst with the Southern Force in the ANL. He coached the Force in the 2013 season.
Ryan has worked as an assistant at the Thunderbirds for the past four seasons – playing a key role in their 2013 premiership – and said outgoing Adelaide coach Jane Woodlands-Thompson has had an enormous influence on him.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without Jane giving me an opportunity in 2012 – and that opportunity came out of blue but it’s opened up so many doors for me,” Ryan said.
“I’ve become really passionate about the Adelaide Thunderbirds and I wish them well for next year and in future and hopefully we’ll see them be successful once again.
“I’ll be keeping a close eye on them from afar.”
The 31-year-old Ryan, who is also a qualified journalist and freelance sports broadcaster, had a brief guest coaching stint with the Thunder late last year and said he spoke with Neville before accepting the role. Ryan will also fill the role as Thunder’s Director or Netball.
The Thunder finished third in the Superleague this season – with former Australian Diamonds and ANZ Championship player Chelsea Pitman part of their squad – and were champions in 2014.
“I’ve always kept a close eye on the Superleague and head coaching in the competition has always been on my radar,” Ryan said.
“The opportunity to lead a great club like Manchester Thunder is really exciting and the beauty of taking over a successful club like Thunder is that the foundations for success are already there.
“So, for me, it’s about adding value to the existing frameworks and identifying what I can bring to the table to take the club to the next level.”