As expected, Noeline Taurua has been named the 11th Silver Ferns head coach.
The new head coach will lead the Silver Ferns into next month’s Netball Quad Series and ultimately the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool. But, crucially, the appointment has been concluded in conjunction with Taurua’s club, the Sunshine Coast Lightning where she is contracted until the end of the 2019 season.
Former national head coach Janine Southby resigned at the conclusion of an independent review conducted as a result of the Silver Fern’s worst ever result at a Commonwealth Games where the side failed to medal.
Taurua was unveiled as the new coach at a press conference in Auckland at 3pm after days of speculation that she had landed the top job.
“I am very honoured to be among some great coaches of the past. I am honoured to be part of the game, netball in New Zealand.
“It feels like a long time coming. It may be one of the worst kept secrets.”
Asked about the scale of the task in rejuvenating the Silver Ferns, Taurua said it would be a big task.
“I would not like to say the word rebuild. There is a lot of history in wearing the silver fern.
“It is going to be challenging with the Quad Series in a few weeks. The timeframe in next few weeks is very limited. But long term it will be leading towards the World championships and that is huge.
“I am just looking forward to getting on the boat and moving forward.”
Taurua was asked by reporters how she felt after being asked to lead the Silver Ferns having been passed over for the role three years previously.
She said that she had gone away after missing out on a job and reflected on what she wanted to do in the game and what she could bring. She had also gained experience and expertise over the last three years.
“Now, I want to win the Worlds. I want netball to be as good as it can be. I think back on the days growing up and what netball meant to me; I want it to be like that.”
Taurua was asked if she was worried about being seen as a saviour of the Silver Ferns, which have struggled in recent years.
“I am just one person. I am just a part of a bigger picture and team.”
The appointment was brokered between Netball New Zealand and the Sunshine Coast Lightning, where she is contracted until the end of the 2019 Super netball season.