Silver Ferns’ coach Dame Noeline Taurua is finally planning on sitting down this week to sign a contract that will take her through to the World Cup in 2023.
The World Cup winning coach is currently signed up until February next year.
Dame Noeline received a contract extension offer from Netball New Zealand some time ago but admits she’s a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to life admin.
“I was looking at that last week and thinking geez I’ve got to move into that and it’s all my fault and I’ve got that on my to do list,” laughed the 52-year-old.
“My intent is I’m going to be there definitely so that’s where my heart is, to be there for the next worlds, but I also want to make sure that I’m the right person and that our sport is moving ahead and in the direction that it needs to. So, I’ve just got to put the space and time to actually make sure those mechanisms are included, let’s put it that way in the contracting.”
Does that mean she’s going to lay down some non-negotiables like she did when she first took on the job?
Before Dame Noeline agreed to take on the job in 2018 she wanted assurances that midcourt maestro Laura Langman would be able to play.
In line with Netball New Zealand policy, Langman had been deemed ineligible for the Ferns because she was playing in the Australian league.
Dame Noeline only had 11 months to turn around the fortunes of the Ferns, so she was racing against the clock to get them ready for the World Cup.
“When I came into the job leading into the worlds, that was the approach that I had prior to signing the contract because it was such a short time frame and there were certain aspects that I actually needed to know that were going to be there so that we could build a base within that short timeframe.”
But now she feels she’s working in a different space.
“We do have two or three years and it’s more about working with others as to how we can be smarter but as a system or a pathway that we can actually work together. So, I don’t feel that I have to go into that to stipulate specifically this is what I want because I don’t feel that that’s helpful.”
While there are currently no New Zealand players signed with the Australian league, it’s not inconceivable that another eligibility case could arise in the future.
But Dame Noeline is comfortable that a collaborative approach will work best.
“I feel that as long as we’re sort of all on the same wavelength, that in my job and how I roll I might have to reposition myself to fit with everybody else as long as we’re improving.
“I know that might sound like sort of sixes and sevens but I feel the space we’re in we need to do it together and it would be counter-productive if I start pushing my weight around so I’ve just got to work through that in my own head that I’m specific in regards to my role.”