Simone McKinnis has distanced herself from the hysteria which followed her missing out on being named Diamonds coach, declaring the national team had had an exciting future under West Coast Fever mentor Stacey Marinkovich.
Melbourne Vixens coach McKinnis, who played 63 Tests and is a former Australia U21 and Australian Institute of Sport coach, was considered a frontrunner for the Diamonds job left vacant by Lisa Alexander earlier this year.
The naming of Marinkovich just over a week ago was considered a shock, with McKinnis becoming an unwitting player in criticism of the new coach’s appointment.
Former players including Diamonds captains Liz Ellis and Sharni Layton questioned the appointment of someone who had not played at the highest level or had significant coaching success.
Both threw McKinnis’ name into the conversation, while the netball rumour mill suggested there was resentment among some candidates at being overlooked.
McKinnis, who said she was “invested” in getting the top job, has had no part in the agitation and has no interest in being dragged into the debate.
“I don’t listen to other people, I don’t read social media, I don’t read Facebook or Twitter for netball stuff, so I don’t even know (what people are saying),” McKinnis said.
“I don’t care. I just get on with my job and what I love doing.”
McKinnis has a contract with Melbourne until the end of 2022, and while she would have had to juggle that role with the Diamonds position if appointed, she said missing out allowed her to concentrate on her beloved Vixens.
“I put my hand up and I invested in it,” McKinnis said of her interest in the Diamonds role.
“But I get to do a job with a team I love and work with Netball Vic(toria) and the Vixens and the VIS (Victorian Institute of Sport), which I love and that’s what I focus on.”
And she had nothing but praise for Marinkovich.
“Stace is a quality coach and a quality person, and it’s an exciting time for the Diamonds,” she said.
McKinnis’s Vixens sit on top of the Super Netball ladder after coming from behind to notch a thrilling draw with Marinkovich’s Fever in Brisbane on Saturday.
The Diamonds are slated to play the four-Test Constellation Cup against New Zealand later this year pending trans-Tasman travel approvals.