Team Bath's new head coach Jo Vann compares her netball role to her life as an army captain

Jo Vann says her army training will stand her in good stead for new coaching role (PA Images)
15:50pm, Thu 12 Dec 2019
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Team Bath's new head coach Jo Vann has compared her netball role to her job in the military.

Vann is taking over from new Roses head coach Jess Thirlby at the south west club in 2020. 

The 35-year-old army captain said: "The primary one [comparison] is a huge reliance on teamwork. Netball is known as a sport where you don't really have a star player, every one of the seven on court must perform and the army is just like that.

"I've gone from having to command 50 soldiers in front of me to needing to spread myself across a far wider scale.

"As an instructor at basic training, they were 16-21-year-olds arriving for their first day in the army and I was there to help them become soldiers - and that is entirely relevant as a netball coach, especially to younger players.

"It's important to consider the wider aspect of people's lives, their families and challenges in their life outside work," she told BBC Sport.

Vann will work with Anna Stembridge at the club in the Vitality Super League which begins on February 22.

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The athlete is married to major Richard Vann who is also in the military with the 17 Port and Maritime Regiment of the Royal Logistic Corps. Vann says their family life is a bit of a 'juggling ac'.

"A week for me will depend massively on what time of the year it is - but there will always be family time, coaching, travelling, army, media work, time in the gym and outdoor time, which typically revolves around the dog.

"It's a real juggling act with us both serving and having two young children but our time as a family is precious so we try to make the most of it."