“Hi, my name is Samantha Newton and I am Performance Lead and Head County Coach for Somerset. I came into post in the summer of 2015, before the present season, as my predecessor stood down and I wanted to take on the challenge! It’s been interesting picking up the whole arrangement of performance within the county and communicating more with England Netball about the bigger picture.

I first started coaching after university, where I became involved with my local junior club. Over the next few years, I developed taking my Level 1 and Level 2 coaching awards and after assisting for a few seasons I then became the senior head coach at Yeovil Netball Club (and have been ever since!).

Outside of coaching I also play in regional league one for Galmington Netball Club and I am one of the Performance Analyst for TeamBath Superleague! As you can tell I fully immerse myself in netball over the playing season, but also have to make time for my work and studies in accountancy.

My main love for coaching is seeing the development of any player, albeit one of my County players gaining a place in the Regional Academy or a club player demonstrating, in competitive match, a principle worked hard on in previous sessions.”

Focus is on working with another player. The emphasis remains on training and skill development with competition being used to test and refine skills. Athletes should be competing in appropriate club (regional leagues) and school competitions. There is one County Academy in every county in the south west.

The recommended age group for County Academies is 14-16+ years, however age range is flexible to cater for individual needs and maturation.