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Pulse keen to finish with a flourish

June 17, 2016
Pulse keen to finish with a flourish

Central Pulse are determined to finish the season on a high, starting with their ANZ Championship netball rematch against the Mainland Tactix in Christchurch on Monday.

It’s a long shot but the Pulse still have an outside chance of making the New Zealand conference play-offs despite struggling to deliver on their potential during a disappointing campaign.

Returning to her home town for the clash, it’s all about the here and now for Pulse assistant coach Tania Hoffman.

``We’re not out of it yet,’’ she said. ``We’ve got three games that we could still potentially win and if we do that and other results are favourable, we can still make the finals.

``We’ve just got to get into the mindset that every game counts and we want to end the season on a really high note whether we make finals or not. Going back to training it’s just about really working hard on those things we’re good at and tidying up the things we’re not so good at.’’

The Pulse have had some narrow misses this season, including their first clash with the Tactix seven weeks ago, falling just short after a fast finish to lose 58-57. And Hoffman has no doubts they can have another good crack at their southern rivals.

``We only lost by one last time and we are very close on the table, so we have got a great chance,’’ she said. ``But we’ve got to be unified in the way that we play from the first whistle to the last whistle.’’

After a long and successful coaching career in Canterbury, Hoffman has enjoyed the leap into the elite ranks with the Pulse. Apart from being a longer campaign and with the added component of international travel, adapting to the trans-Tasman league hasn’t been as daunting as she initially expected.

``The learnings and the intensity is much the same as a national provincial campaign,’’ she said. ``I thought there would be some surprises but there hasn’t been any really.

``With Canterbury I had seven or eight franchise players coming back to play NPC, so the transition for me hasn’t been as big as I thought it would.’’

Often a thankless task, Hoffman thrives in the environment that is reserved for a select group, coaching being part of her life-blood.

``Week-in week-out, it’s pitting your skills against other coaches, their teams and what they bring, so you’re always thinking about how you can adapt your team to the opposition,’’ she said.

``It’s also building a team together that is almost like your family for a whole season and making sure you have really strong values and an end goal in sight.

A talented group on paper, many have questioned the Pulse’s lack of success this season, Hoffman pointing to time and experience as key factors.

``I think people tend to forget that even though we have experienced players, we also have a lot of new ones,’’ she said. ``And if you look at Maia Wilson, how many 18-year-old shooters are playing ANZ week-in week-out?

``And the likes of (shooter) Ameliaranne Wells. Yes, she’s a Silver Fern, but even last year didn’t have a lot of court time with the Pulse. In terms of years of experience, she actually doesn’t have that many. And (defender) Phoenix Karaka, down the other end, is the same.

``So, some of those games where we’ve drawn or had close losses, that experience factor is really important and plays a key role and is something a lot of them still haven’t got yet.’’

Hoffman has no regrets, grateful for the opportunity to further her career and the stepping stone provided with the Pulse to enhance her credentials.


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