Central Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie has no doubts the introduction of the 2017 ANZ Premiership will be of major benefit to Netball in New Zealand.
In the first instance, having six teams in the competition will mean the emergence of a host of new young players across the Zones, which will broaden overall depth.
“We also have the opportunity to create and continue to develop a New Zealand style of Netball that adds to what we bring to the game (internationally),” McCausland-Durie said.
“That is going to be really valuable and in the long term give us the point of difference that we probably had back in 1980s, where we had less international competition but were really effective.’’
From a Pulse point of view, McCausland-Durie could not be happier with the balance she’s assembled in her team for the start of a new era.
“We’ve got a great mix of experience; they’re not old players but have been around a variety of campaigns. We also have a bit of youth and that’s a focus, to keep growing our own players from the Zone.’’
The Pulse won’t lack for expertise on the side-lines with former Silver Ferns coach Wai Taumaunu (Director of High Performance), midcourt maestro Sandra Edge becoming the assistant coach and super shooter Irene van Dyk helping out in a specialist role, all on hand to support McCausland-Durie.
The coach is also a fan of teams carrying just the 10 players.
“It provides a genuine opportunity for us as coaches to develop players in more than one position,” she said. “Players are going to need to be a little more diverse in what they offer to a team and that pushes us to be genuine about developing them.
“Having just the 10 also makes the reality of getting on court for players that much better. It’s highly likely every player could play every match in some way, shape or form.”
The Central Pulse will start their ANZ Premiership campaign on Sunday 26 March against the SKYCITY Mystics, as part of a blockbuster Super Sunday featuring all six teams in action at Claudelands Arena, Hamilton.
Photo Credit: Andy Radka - Above Ground Level Photography
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