xLisaAlexanderWEB_3114LEONGATHA’S super coach, Lisa Alexander, has reached the top rung of her sport with the career defining victory by the Australian Diamonds in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last Sunday night.

The Diamonds thrashed their arch-rivals the New Zealand Silver Ferns in a surprisingly one-sided encounter 58-40 to win gold but much of Lisa’s work had already been done the moment the Aussies stepped on to the court.

Not only has Lisa played a crucial role in rebuilding the team since her appointment in 2011 and preparing them for the most important tournament in netball but she also made some key decisions during a hectic week and a half of competition.

In the pivotal game against England she made some key moves to help pull that game out of the fire, swapping Bianca Chatfield in Goal Defence for Julie Corletto who remained in the starting seven through to the final.

She also took out Wing Defence Renae Hallinan and put on the more aggressive Sharni Layton who, although not preferred in the starting line-up for the final was a game changer against England.

Lisa was also credited with giving the girls a day off ‘to spend with family and friends’ before Sunday’s play-off, a decision which ‘freshened up’ the team for their big game against New Zealand.

In the final, she capped off her youth policy of the past couple of years by bringing back 21 year old Kim Ravaillion who had hurt her back earlier, starting instead of Kimberlee Green.

The win was a personal triumph for Lisa but afterwards she simply heaped praise on her players and support staff.

Lisa honed her coaching skills during her time in Leongatha, initially taking a team of local girls to the State League and then heading up a push into the National League with the Melbourne Kestrels, together with team manager Geoff Davis.

One of the local players who travelled with Lisa along that journey, Megan Reid of Inverloch, was full of praise for Lisa’s “magnificent” achievement in Glasgow.

“It’s just fantastic to see someone who was so much a part of netball locally on that stage, playing such an important role for Australia. It was just magnificent,” said Megan.

Megan doesn’t underestimate the role Lisa played in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games and during the qualifying rounds.

“She was always great at analysing the opposition and nullifying their strengths. You can see that now as well. She always said ‘horses for courses’ when selecting the best team to match the strengths of the opposition. And we all bought into that.

“When Lisa first came here she played in the Gippsland team as well as coaching and she had a real knack of getting the best out of her players.

“She’s done a fantastic job.”