We’ll miss her says premier team

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Janie Smith

Cel­e­brat­ing a suc­cess­ful sea­son is tinged with sad­ness for the Mt Al­bert Gram­mar premier net­ball team.

Coach and deputy prin­ci­pal TeAroha Keenan is leav­ing to be­come the head coach of the LG North­ern Mys­tics, af­ter be­ing as­sis­tant coach this sea­son.

The premier team was sec­ond in the na­tional secondary schools tour­na­ment two weeks ago and will miss the coach who led them to suc­cess.

“We will miss her, she’s a big part of net­ball,” says player Dar­rell Leota.

To­day is Ms Keenan’s last day at the school where she has taught PE and overseen net­ball for the past five years.

For­merly TeAroha Clarke, she played for the Sil­ver Ferns and has been a suc­cess­ful coach.

Her achieve­ments in­clude be­ing Sil­ver Ferns as­sis­tant coach and coach­ing the New Zealand A team and the Auck­land Di­a­monds.

“I’ve al­ways coached on top of my job. This will be my first time net­ball coach­ing without work­ing as well. It’s a bit of a shock to the sys­tem, I’ve al­ways had in­put into young peo­ple.

“It’s prob­a­bly what I’m go­ing to miss in my role.”

Ms Keenan says she leaves be­hind a strong premier team, most of whom have had in­di­vid­ual suc­cess on rep­re­sen­ta­tive sides.

The team went to Sin­ga­pore at the start of the year and had a suc­cess­ful sea­son, winning the North Is­land champs.

“They won a lot of things and did re­ally well in the com­pe­ti­tion but fal­tered in the fi­nal.

“It’s been a great sea­son, I’m ex­pect­ing even big­ger things next year.”

De­spite not tak­ing out the top hon­ours, player Tera-Maria Amani, 15, was named player of the tour­na­ment.

Ms Keenan’s daugh­ter Tuaine will be in the premier team next year so she will still be fol­low­ing their progress.

“I’ve got a group of play­ers who are year 13 who I’ve had for five years. I will def­i­nitely be fol­low­ing them.”

She hopes to see the play­ers take the next step in com­pet­ing not only against their own age group, but against more ex­pe­ri­enced net­ballers.

“I would like to see them go from school­girl play­ers to se­nior play­ers.”

Mys­tics chief ex­ec­u­tive Mark Cameron says he’s pleased to have Ms Keenan in­volved and be­lieves she will help cul­ti­vate the team for next year’s ANZ Cham­pi­onship.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Mov­ing on: Mt Al­bert Gram­mar net­ball play­ers Dar­rell Leota, left, and Tera-Maria Amani with coach TeAroha Keenan who is leav­ing to coach the Mys­tics.

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