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Timely break for Pulse

June 2, 2016
Timely break for Pulse

With a number of players laid low by flu, the bye round couldn’t have come at a better time for Central Pulse in the ANZ Championship netball competition.

A break from action this weekend will give the team time to refresh, reflect and regroup for one last charge at making the New Zealand conference play-offs in what to date has been a disappointing season.

With a host of new faces this year, the Pulse have struggled to settle into a consistent playing pattern and ultimately paid the price for fluctuating form swings. But the race to clinch second and third spots in the New Zealand conference remains tight and with that in mind, presents opportunities to seal or spoil.

``This is a good opportunity for us to take stock,’’ Pulse coach Tanya Dearns said. ``Optimism and positivity are high on my list and we’re certainly not out of the race.

``When we come back from the bye we’ve got four games left (of the regular season) and there’s nothing to say that we can’t win those four games. That’s what we’ll be going out to do and if we do, we’re in with a shot of making third (on the New Zealand Conference). But we’ve certainly made it very hard for ourselves.’’

It’s been far from plain sailing for Dearns in her first season as head coach, the former Silver Fern showing her ability to battle the odds, her keen sense of humour never far away, in having to hurdle a number of occupational and personal challenges along the way.

The loss of Jodi Brown, the Pulse’s most experienced player to a career-ending injury before the season had started was a major blow in terms of the team structure, and which has taken time to overcome.

Dearns also had to cope with flying solo on the family front, until season’s-end, after husband Grant took up a position as head strength and conditioner with the NEC Green Rockets rugby team in Tokyo. That meant selling a house, relocating to Wellington and settling her two children into new schools.
``I’m not sure I’ve come through completely unscathed but I’m certainly not ready for the funny farm just yet,’’ she quipped.

Despite a frustrating run of disappointing results, the trans-Tasman league has not thrown up too many surprises for Dearns and she has enjoyed the cut and thrust of coaching at the elite level.

``It’s interesting once you’re in it and things are underway because it goes by so quickly, so you don’t get much opportunity to have a bit of breather and a think about things,’’ she said.

``But it is certainly all that I expected it to be……a lot of swings and roundabouts and a pretty full-on ride.

``You feel a bit like a pinball machine where you bounce from one thing to the next, to the next, to the next….That’s not to say it’s not enjoyable, it’s just frantic, manic and all those words that describe that sort of feeling.’’


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