Netball New Zealand boss Jennie Wyllie is backing up Netball Waikato Bay of Plenty’s assertion Laura Langman remains unavailable for the 2019 domestic season.
ANZ Premiership teams for 2019 are starting to take shape, with windows open to re-sign existing players or approach those not yet contracted, but it appears former Silver Fern Langman is showing zero interest.
The veteran has been an active advocate for netball, holding nationwide Netfit programmes and playing club netball for Hamilton City, even being awarded for her years of service to the Waikato region last month.
But that’s where it ends.
Since her abrupt departure from Australian side the Sunshine Coast Lightning in November last year, Langman returned to New Zealand where it was hoped she would be injected into the ANZ Premiership.
Despite approaches by numerous clubs up until recently, it looks unlikely.
“Our last discussions with Laura, which have not changed, where that she was not going to be making herself available for ANZ Premiership at the current moment,” said Wyllie.
“There is no change in terms of her decision she made a number of months ago.”
Wyllie did state, however, no approach has been made since the latest Netball New Zealand review was released last Friday.
The physical review mentioned Langman’s unavailability was a loss of experience to the side who competed at the 2018 Commonwealth games and that “Phase ll” will be analysing Netball New Zealand’s ‘Review of Selection Policies & Eligibility Criteria’.
In a video by Netball NZ, Wyllie stated she keeps in contact with Langman but no signs of the star midcourter’s return at any capacity seems to be on the horizon.
Before raising Australia’s Super Netball trophy with Noeline Taurua and the Lightning in 2017, Langman played for the New South Wales Swifts in the ANZ Championship, still able to trial for the Ferns.
That changed when New Zealand retreated from the trans-Tasman competition to their own league.
After 141 consecutive games for the Silver Ferns, Langman publicly expressed her disappointment when she was refused the chance to trial for New Zealand.
Wyllie, though, is adamant the additional ruling had no bearing on Langman’s decision to walk away.
“She’s been really clear with netball across the board that she is consistent with her messaging, she’s having a break and we still respect her for that decision.
“It’s ideal to have lots of levels of experience and we have been growing new leaders, and it’s important we grow all of them.
“What we can absolutely say is we want leaders throughout the court, and leaders don’t necessarily mean lots of test caps.”
Without a domestic contract a player forfeits the chance to trial for the Silver Ferns ahead of next year’s Netball World Cup in Liverpool.
Langman will be 33 when the event comes around, meaning this could be her final chance to compete at the pinnacle event.
“The way that Laura made her decision it really was a personal one,” said Wyllie.
“Ultimately everyone needs to respect that and Laura as she makes her own choice.
“It doesn’t mean the door doesn’t remain open for her to get back into netball if she chooses to.”