Burns takes on Sunbury Lions challenge

Josh Burns.

Tara Murray

New Sunbury Lions coach Josh Burns is looking forward to finally getting the opportunity to coach in the Ballarat Netball League.

Burns had been set to coach Melton this year and took the group through the first part of pre-season before the season was cancelled due to COVID-19.

When the club decided to head in another direction, Burns didn’t have to wait long to find another coaching role with Sunbury keen to get him onboard.

Luke Marko Rawlings had been set to coach the Lions in 2020 for the first time.

“They sought me out once they knew that I wasn’t coaching at Melton,” Burns said.

“Renee Hulls [Lions coach and player] said to me about it and said that we would love to have you.

“It was a nice easy going process to get it done. Hopefully this great opportunity that will allow me to showcase my knowledge of the game.”

The Melton job was Burns first experience in coaching, but he brings an extensive playing and umpiring background.

He first made a state team at the age of 12 and played at a number of national championships. Burns also made four Australian teams, both indoor and full court netball, the most recent the under-23 men’s team four years ago.

Burns’ coaches include City West Falcons coach Marg Lind and new Collingwood Super Netball coach Nicole Richardson.

Burns, who is now focusing on coaching and umpiring, said he had heard that Sunbury was in a development stage after several players of their A-grade team stepped away after the 2019 season when the club decided to change coaches.

“There will be a lot of new faces, which will be good,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to training and getting to know everyone face-to-face. I’m looking forward to seeing where we are at.”

Burns will also coach the B-grade team. Hulls, a premiership winning coach the club will coach C-grade, with Tami Hardwick appointed the D-grade coach.

Janine Hodgson, who was due to coach the under-19s this year, has been again named coach of that age group.

She has previously coached junior representative sides.

They are still to appoint an E-grade coach.

The Lions held the first of their trials on the weekend and have another one this Saturday between 10-1pm at Clarke Oval.

For further enquiries, contact tamihardwick@gmail.com.