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McCausland-Durie back at the Pulse helm

July 13, 2017
McCausland-Durie back at the Pulse helm for another two years

After a successful first year in the job, Yvette McCausland-Durie has signed on for another two years as head coach of Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse in the ANZ Premiership netball competition.

Under the popular coach, the Pulse had a breakthrough season in 2017 to make the play-offs for the first time in their history, eventually finishing second in New Zealand’s new elite domestic competition.

``It was an easy decision for me,’’ McCausland-Durie said. ``We’ve made a commitment around a three-year plan where we feel we’ve got the ability to make it through to be a winning championship team.

``I do think that when you’re in a team environment it does take time and while we’ve had a great season in lots of ways, we do know there’s still potential for us as a team. And there’s also a lot of development for me as a coach and still huge amounts of progress that can be made.

``Every year is different and you have to take it for what it is and build on that. That does require us to have some continuity, there’s always going to be movement, but if we can maintain player continuity and continuity across all personnel, then that will help.’’

Having built an impressive resume over the years covering a variety of grades and levels, McCausland-Durie has relished a return to coaching senior players after first being at the helm of the Pulse in 2009-11.

Never one to get too emotive or carried away, there is, however, a tangible sense of satisfaction from McCausland-Durie’s perspective in what the Pulse achieved this year.

``It’s been an incredible season and while as a high performing team you set a goal at the start of the year that you want to make the finals, and to actually have that come to fruition was pretty satisfying for all of us,’’ she said.

``I’ve really enjoyed it because people have been really engaged, I’ve learnt a lot along the way, as a group we’ve connected and all of us are new in terms of working together. And that’s been a real positive for us.’’

With a new coaching staff and playing roster in place, Netball Central High Performance Director Waimarama Taumaunu couldn’t have asked for a better start to a new era.

While plenty of hard work was put in behind the scenes, a lack of injuries and enjoying the rub of the green at times had also played a part.

``I’ve been hugely impressed with how Yvette’s managed the group,’’ Taumaunu said.

``Sometimes when things fall your way, they just fall your way and I felt that getting into the elimination final was hard graft, but having it at home was a bit of luck.

``I’d like to hope we’ll build on that but I’m aware there were some magical things that happened this year that don’t always happen every year.’’

With the Pulse ranked in the vicinity of fourth or fifth at the start of the season, the goal of a top-three was a challenging assignment.

``This is a three-year plan we’re working on, so it’s not hard to imagine what year two and one are,’’ Taumaunu said. ``We had to take deep breaths when we wrote those down but we did and we’ve exceeded target this year but we know there’s a huge amount of hard work to go if we’re to look realistically at achieving target next year.’’


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