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New Diamonds coach still in netball plans

Australia Head coach Lisa Alexander at the Netball World Cup. Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images

Netball Australia is on track to appoint a new Diamonds coach but the first Test they will oversee remains anyone's guess.

Applications close next week for a replacement for long-time coach Lisa Alexander, whose contract was not renewed earlier this year after more than eight years in the role.

NA chief executive Marne Fechner says the governing body hope to have the new coach in place by August, although the urgency has dimmed with netball grinding to a halt alongside all national sport.

Super Netball, which usually runs for five months, has been postponed until at least the end of June, with players and NA staff including Fechner taking massive pay cuts.

The season can be condensed but there remains a large question mark over internationals, usually held in October, in what is likely to be an increasingly crowded sporting calender.

"We don't know at this point in time what the likely impact is to our international window, and that's largely based on a whole range of crystal-balling; things we just don't have the answers to," Fechner said.

"We are doing a lot of work and scenario-planning with the Super Netball team, looking at what the options are and working closely with our broadcast partners Nine and Telstra to understand what that might look like.

"The reality is if a Super Netball season pushes into the back half of the year that's going to challenge our ability to deliver international content as well."

Fechner says netball wants to be ready for action as soon as they get the green light to resume play.

"We are in an uncomfortable space where we don't have anything locked down but in the coming weeks we want to clearly understand what the options are so that if anything does open we press buttons pretty quickly."

Fechner is confident netball will continue to hold its place at the pinnacle of women's sport in Australia once the pandemic passes.

"What we've seen over the last three years is a real emergence and focus on women's codes and that's fantastic," she said.

"The reality is that this is going to put pressure on everyone but from netball's perspective we're in a fortunate position that we've been forging along on this path for 15-plus years, so we know we have a very engaged cohort of athletes, of fans, commercial partners and broadcast partners.

"I'm really confident around the position that netballs sits and that we will get through this. Hopefully we can bounce back in an even more dominant position than we sit now."