Assistant Coach Jake Cooper also departs the International setup.
Wales Korfball Head Coach Jessica Davies has left her role by mutual decision after a 4-year term in charge. Davies had been in charge of both the International Training and Development squads since 2019.
In 2021 Jessica Davies coached the Welsh Senior Squad in their first international match since the COVID-19 pandemic during the 2021 Tri-Nations Tournament. In total there have been six major tournaments since Davies took over the National Squad in 2019, including both indoor and outdoor official IKF matches and unofficial friendlies, a list of which can be found below:
IKF World Beach Korfball Championship, 2019
Tri-Nations, Hartpury, 2021 (3rd)
European Championships B, Poland, 2021 (8th)
IKF World Beach Korfball Championship, 2022
Tri-Nations, Edinburgh, 2022 (3rd)
EU World Championship Qualifiers-B, 2022, Turkey (6th)
Jessica Davies also gave debut caps to 16 international players across indoor and beach tournaments, the most of any Head Coach tenure in the history of the Welsh National Team since its formation in 2005, and issued three first time captaincies during her term. Wales Korfball Chair Kristopher Banham stated: “I want to publicly thank Jessica on behalf of the Wales Korfball Association and National Squad for her work during the last four years.”
“Jessica’s dedication to developing Welsh players at the highest level in both of our international squads was unmatched. Her passion and coaching have had a lasting impact on both the Welsh National Squad and the wider korfball community in Wales.”
“Jessica’s commitment to coaching during the pandemic and desire to usher in a new generation of international players were the cornerstone of her tenure, and she will forever remain a crucial part of the Wales Korfball family.”
In addition to the departure of Jessica Davies, Jake Cooper also leaves his role as Assistant Coach.
Jake stepped into the assistant coach role earlier this year and had an immediate impact on the National setup. Most notably, Jake’s coaching influence could be felt during the 2022 Tri-Nations and, along with Jessica Davies, was an integral part of the golden goal victory over Ireland during that tournament. Current Wales captain James Wilcox had the following to say: “Jake brought crucial qualities to the coaching team and made his presence felt in a very short span of time which is a huge credit to his passion for the sport.”
“Jess and Jake both understood what it means to represent Wales and instilled a culture that will extend far beyond their time with the squad. Never before has a coaching team worked so hard to engage grassroots clubs and players in Wales, a testament to their long-term vision that went beyond their own tenure to secure the future of Welsh Korfball for many years to come.”.
The Welsh Korfball Association would once again like to place on record our immense thanks to both Jessica Davies and Jake Cooper for their time coaching the Welsh National Squad, and wish them both well for the future.
The Welsh Korfball Association will now begin the process of identifying and appointing a new coaching setup to guide the Welsh National Team through this next international cycle.