Coaches given ruth­less treat­ment

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT -

These are in­deed in­ter­est­ing times for net­ball. As the game has ad­vanced into the pro­fes­sional era, it has be­come as caught up in in­trigue and in­ter­nal pol­i­tics as any other ma­jor sport.

Just look at the re­cent fuss over the ap­point­ment of the coaches of the New Zealand fran­chises in next year’s trans-Tas­man league.

Leigh Gibbs, who lost the reins as Sil­ver Ferns coach 15 years ago, is back. She’s re­turn­ing to Christchurch to coach the Tac­tix. The job also en­tails set­ting up coach­ing and de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes, which will suit her well.

Long-serv­ing Robyn Broughton, who has coached the South­ern Sting and then the South­ern Steel since the mid-1990s, was un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously dumped from that po­si­tion, only to end up a few days later as the Pulse coach.

Un­der Broughton, the Sting made 10 con­sec­u­tive na­tional fi­nals, win­ning seven, and the Steel made the trans-Tas­man semi­fi­nals twice, so her treat­ment was rather vi­cious.

That’s some­thing I’ve no­ticed about net­ball ad­min­is­tra­tors. They can be ruth­less. Think of the way Sil­ver Ferns coaches Gibbs and Yvonne Wil­ler­ing were sum­mar­ily sacked for lack of re­sults.

Broughton de­served more sym­pa­thetic han­dling from those well-paid net­ball of­fi­cials in South­land. In­stead they seemed to go out of their way to flick her on.

That sort of treat­ment may re­bound on them be­cause Broughton will ar­rive at the Pulse with sev­eral loyal play­ers by her side.

Not just Pulse cap­tain Ka­t­rina Grant (an­other to fall out with South­land net­ball of­fi­cial­dom), but per­haps also su­per-shooter Donna Wilkins, Sil­ver Fern Liana Leota, ex­pe­ri­enced mid­courter Erika Burgess and oth­ers.

Where that will leave the Steel un­der new joint coaches (al­ways a risky move) Natalie Avel­lino and Janine Southby is any­one’s guess.

The Pulse were equally bru­tal in get­ting the coach they wanted. It had seemed Gail Parata, who had been for­mer coach Yvette Mc­Caus­land-Durie’s as­sis­tant for three years, would get the job.

But once Broughton be­came avail­able, Parata was sur­plus to re­quire­ments and the Pulse man­age­ment gained no ku­dos for the thought­less way they let Parata know.

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