NS Exclusive: Dylan Nexhip – Beyond Infinity, Part II

NS Exclusive: Dylan Nexhip – Beyond Infinity, Part II

By |2024-05-03T08:35:54+10:00April 30th, 2024|Categories: AUS, Men's Netball|Tags: , , |1 Comment

In this two-part series with Ariane Virgona, Australian Kelpies captain Dylan Nexhip discusses what it really takes to play elite netball, his role as captain and coach, his leadership style, and how he works to expand the visibility of men’s netball.

Read part one here.


“The opportunities are starting to come, and it’s starting to grow, which is very exciting.”

Beyond the training and technical aspects of elite performance, Dylan’s passion for netball fuels his ongoing commitment.

“It was one of the first sports I played living in the country. I played tennis in the summer and then started playing netball in the winter before I aged out and couldn’t play.

“It was something that I kind of continued to tinker with as I grew up playing in mixed competitions and looking for opportunities to play through university. But I just really loved the team culture that netball is. The size of the team, 12 people, is such a great number to be able to connect with everyone, get to know everyone on a really personal level and build great friendships with your teammates.

“And I think that’s what I love the most – we’re not only teammates but also friends off the court. And that makes a big difference because that gives you that extra motivation to keep coming back.

“I also just love the game – I love being out there. I love competing. I love how fast-paced the game is, how competitive it is, and all the other stuff that goes with it as well. The ability to strategise and analyse and all the thinking that goes behind the game really sucked me in.”


But Dylan is not only a player and captain. He is also the Head Coach of North Shore United in the New South Wales Premier League Competition and was the defensive specialist coach in 2022 under the guidance of Kim Green.

“I was lucky in 2022 to be in that space and have Kim Green as the head coach. I learned so much from her in terms of her professionalism and the way that she communicates and goes about her business… And then, I took over the role in 2023.

“I really like the coaching space. I really like being able to teach, and I think that’s something that I try to do – make sure that everyone’s learning something. It doesn’t matter what level or what age you’re at, I still think that you need to have the mindset that you can continuously learn. And then I try to build that environment that creates a culture of challenge, but a culture of fun and a respectful environment, too.

“I am excited to get back into that this year [2024] as well.”


Nexhip in action for NSW at the AMMNA Nationals, 2024. Image May Bailey | Clusterpix Sports Photography


When Dylan isn’t playing or coaching netball, he works in the school environment as a team leader. The skills he has acquired from this role have greatly influenced his leadership style as team captain.

“In my workspace, I’m a team leader, and my team has about 10 people, which is very similar to netball. There are many transferable skills, in terms of trying to stay on top of things, but also making sure that you’re working to motivate and inspire the team you’re working with and trying to be clear with direction.”

Applying these skills as captain, Dylan emphasises being a proactive leader who leads by example, prioritising the connection between players.

“Being on the front foot, doing all the little things, and being a role model through your actions and making sure that you’re not just talking the talk, but you’re walking the walk.

“It’s not about being reactive. It’s thinking about, ‘What can I do to make sure this team is still building?’ and ‘What can I do to make sure that this team is cohesive and that we’re communicating well?’

“Like in the lead-up to tours, just make sure that you’re communicating and connecting with people as much as possible, but also getting to know people as a person. I think once you can build a formidable relationship with someone, then that’s when you’re able to get into a space where you can respectfully push them and challenge them to be the best version of themselves.

“And when people feel comfortable in a space, then that’s when they’re going to perform their best on the court. So, it’s about understanding your teammates as a person, that’s important, so then you can get the best out of them for the team.”


Kelpies captain Dylan Nexhip defending the shot of Thomson Matuku. Image – Aliesha Vicars


This is also a strength that Dylan identifies in head coach, Nerida Stewart.

“That’s one of her strengths. She gets to know all her players as people so she can push them and get the best out of them.

“And we just really connected from our first training camp, and our relationship has built ever since.

“We’ve got a very similar vision. We want the best for netball, and we want the best for men’s netball. We make sure that we work alongside each other to really push that and continue to look at how we can grow our sport, but also how we can make sure that we get the most out of these opportunities and moments that we’re presented with, too.”

With that, Dylan offers advice for anyone stepping into the leadership role of captain.

“I think one of my biggest pieces of advice to anyone that goes into leadership or gets elected as the captain is that you’ve been elected for a certain reason, and that’s because of what you’re already demonstrating.

“Sometimes people get the title of captain and think they need to go to this old traditional approach and change everything they’ve been doing. And sometimes that doesn’t work. You know, you’ve been selected for a reason, and it’s important that you honour the vote of confidence you’ve got from your teammates, and that is what I try to do.”


The first men’s netball tournament in 2024 was the National Championships in Brisbane, held at Nissen Arena, from March 30th to April 6th.

“We’re seeing lots of talent in our under 17s teams and under 20s, which is amazing. The depth of talent in Australian netball is great. So, that was our immediate focus, and we’ll wait to see what’s happening in the international space.”

Player engagement in these tournaments is driven by visibility at the grassroots, and Dylan works in schools to get as many people involved as possible.

“A lot of states are running clinics to increase the exposure. And schools are doing a lot of work in terms of competition. I’m coaching the Primary Schools Sports Association Boys team this year- the Sydney Basin Metro team- and we’re playing against six or seven other regions. So, all of us involved are looking at ways to continue to play our role in building the sport.”

And opportunities for visibility have also recently extended to the national level.

“There are more men participating as training partners with Premier League and Victorian Netball League teams, and we saw five boys being training partners with Collingwood Magpies last year. We have four boys who are training partners with West Coast Fever. A couple of us also train with the New South Wales Swifts regularly, so we’re just trying to say yes to as many opportunities as possible to continue to grow the sport.”

But what is most influential is stripping it back to the basics and showcasing that passion and love for the game.


Captains Kruze Tangira (New Zealand) and Dylan Nexhip (Australia) mark the milestone telecast of the Trans Tasman series. Image: May Bailey | Netball Scoop


“I think one thing that we do a really good job of is showing our passion and love for the sport.

“And I think we’re able to spread that enthusiasm through these programs that we’re part of and when people can see that they want to be involved too. So, just ensuring that whatever space we’re in and whatever role we have, everyone’s got different roles, and we’re just doing it to the best of our ability to show the people that we’re connecting with how much we love this sport and how much it means to us.

“And hopefully, that will be a real starting point to get them involved.”

Ultimately, Dylan’s advocacy sends a profound message: We (men and women) should continue to work together to elevate the sport of netball. Because, really, the opportunities are to infinity and beyond. 


You can catch Dylan on television commentating during the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season in 2024.

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  1. […] In part two Dylan discusses the opportunities which arose with captaincy.  […]

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