Broughton’s high hopes
Three years ago Central Pulse netball fans had no hope, but now coach Robyn Broughton says the team has what it takes to make the playoffs.
The Pulse open their ASB Championship campaign against the Adelaide Thunderbirds at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua on March 3, at 7.40pm.
In the recent pre-season Summer Shootout tournament in Melbourne, the Pulse won five out of seven games.
Broughton said the shootout gave the team a good lead in to their first game.
‘‘Although it was hot and pretty hard going, we played all the Australian teams,’’ she said.
‘‘They have a different style to us and play man on. We found it very useful for our own game plan and it gave us a good run in to Adelaide.
‘‘They have a strong shooting circle, but we have good defence so that should be fine. Their midcourt is similar to ours, so that should be a good battle.
‘‘But they will be analysing us just like we are looking at them.’’
This year the Pulse are looking like one of the strongest New Zealand teams. They had more players in the Silver Ferns squad that toured England in January than any other New Zealand side.
Broughton said the team was focusing on short term goals, but making the playoffs was achievable.
‘‘We just missed [getting into the top four] by a whisker last year,’’ she said.
‘‘We’re going to take each game as it comes and work hard, because nothing is going to be easy.
‘‘Long term we want to make the top four and then continue to work from there,’’ Broughton said.
To make the top four the team has to win games, which they never got near until Broughton was the coach.
‘‘When I first came here, the team and city was accepting of where they were,’’ Broughton said.
‘‘That’s not the way I coach and that’s not the way my players are. I have high expectations of myself to put the team together as a coach and I think the girls have high expectations of their abilities, and so they should.
‘‘Winning isn’t everything, but it sure beats coming second.’’
The Pulse have lots of star power, but Broughton said that did not make a winning team.
‘‘It’s the old adage really – a team of champions doesn’t make a champion team.
‘‘It’s up to all of us, coaches and players, to get the right structure out there so we are complementing one another and we know what we are doing.
‘‘When you get new people you have to learn the body language, angles, where to place the ball for them, how much they can move in the air. Those little things become really important.’’
Opening number: The Central Pulse will face off against the Adelaide Thunderbirds in their first match of the season next week. Pictured: Pulse’s Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit, left, and Adelaide Thunderbirds’ Erin Bell.