WALES netball captain Suzy Drane has paid tribute to former national coach Melissa Hyndman ahead of the Commonwealth Games, writes Andrew Penman.
Welsh Netball confirmed earlier this week that they had sacked New Zealander Hyndman just six weeks ahead of Glasgow 2014.
A statement from Welsh Netball read: “We can confirm that following a robust and rigorous internal disciplinary procedure, high performance coach Melissa Hyndman has been dismissed from her role with immediate effect.
“The process follows a number of allegations being made, and in line with Welsh Netball’s disciplinary procedures, the action to remove her from the role was taken on Sunday, June 8.
“With less than 50 days to the Commonwealth Games, Welsh Netball has moved quickly to provide continuity to the squad and has appointed Laura Williams as interim head coach who will lead the team into the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.”
Skipper Drane says the players know that Hyndman had a big part in getting them to the Games.
“The hard edge that we have as a team comes from Melissa Hyndman,” said Drane.
“Her ruthlessness in her approach and succeeding has been embedded in us and we’ll take that on to the Commonwealth Games.
“She coached us for the past four years. We weren’t in a qualifying position for Delhi, we are now there.
“We won European gold last year and played really well at the World Cup; we’ve succeeded in gaining a place for next year; we’re going to the Commonwealth Games and we’re gradually, quietly performing.
“People will have to look out for us as we have that never-say-die attitude that came over with Melissa, and we’ll battle until the end.
“We’ve got a really positive outlook,” she added. “We’re very much focused on our preparations and I think that showed when we played here two weeks ago for the World Cup qualifiers. We came out strong and blew Northern Ireland and Scotland away.
“I think given our build-up now over the next six weeks, we are going to be right up there. We’re aiming for top five.”