Surrey Storm director Mikki Austin discusses challenges of leading franchise and playing at same time

Back in August 2018, Mikki Austin was declared as Surrey Storms manager of netball and she took on the significant task of leading a franchise and playing for it.
The player entered her first manager of character in Surrey Storm with pedigree that was important. She was part of the back-to-back title winning group at 2015 and 2016 and has been a winner of the lovers Player of the trophy.
Running a training role and a Storm academy hub at Putney High School placed foundations for stepping up but the 26-year-old admits the last season was not simple.
Last year for all types of different reasons was really hard, Austin told Sky Sports.
Ill be very honest. Everyone says that is the dream job and do not get me wrong, it is – I am so blessed and so blessed for to say I have this opportunity to do what I do – but theres nothing that can prepare one for this job apart from simply doing it and trial and error.
Now Ive got a year under my belt, I feel far more prepared for what is to come for the rollercoaster that is Superleague. But I am 26 and I have worked really difficult for the vast majority of my acting career where I am an athlete 29, to place myself in a situation. I still have this mindset.
First and foremost I am a netballer. Im a player and thats exactly what I need to do. I am quite fortunate that Im encouraged by an organisation – a franchise in the University of Surrey I doing both roles.
After getting six victories from their 18 league 16, surrey Storm ended last year in eighth and Austin admits that the whole period was a challenge.
To be really honest I came into this job last year really late. A lot required to come into a job like this, which means if this makes sense you are fighting fires consistently and trying to get things going and putting them up. This was a period.
I always understood this time around was going to be totally different obviously because I had more hours.
I think because last year was stressful, after that Grand Final has been completed, it had beenRight, everything go in prep for next year and let us get as much done as physically possible in May, June and July so when it comes to devoting period in September, we all need to concentrate on is your playing part. I believe this was super smart.
The focus and trainings of austin mean she has her squad. Its a squad that is made up of 70 per cent of returnees and some fresh developments in locations that are key.
Austin believes the new developments willpay actual dividends and they comprise Northern Ireland global Niamh Cooper and Leah Middleton in Queensland Firebirds.
The franchise s on site top appearance maker, yasmin Hodge-England, Yaz Parsons and Katy Hughes have returned.
Austin will continue to announce the rest of Storm group .
Will be our first opportunity to see some of them.
I love this job and that I completely understand how much of an opportunity I have which is really uncommon, Austin added. I definitely dont take this for granted regardless of how stressful it might appear.
I have always wanted this opportunity and I will take each day as it comes. We have aims and ambitions for Fast5 and beyond that which we want to achieve in Vitality Netball Superleague at 2020, so Ill do everything I can for us as a playing team to accomplish that.
Sky Sports is your house of netball and it returns to your screens while the Roses returning to televised action under Jess Thirlby whenever they see South Africa in November, beginning with the British Fast5 All-Stars Championships on Saturday, October 12.

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