Netball: Broughton takes new Silver Fern job

By Dana Johannsen

Southern Steel coach Robyn Broughton said she hopes to provide the Silver Ferns selection panel with the shake-up it needs after being appointed as a national selector.

Broughton is the only newcomer on the national selection panel announced by Netball New Zealand yesterday.

She joins Silver Ferns coach and convener Ruth Aitken, former assistant Leigh Gibbs, NZA coach Te Aroha Keenan and Adrianne Hayes.

Broughton's return to the national set-up comes after her criticism over the reappointment of Ferns coach Ruth Aitken earlier in the year.

Broughton, who was widely tipped to be Aitken's successor should the 2003 World Championship-winning coach be unwanted, was outspoken over Netball New Zealand's appointment process and believed the role should have been opened up to other candidates.

At the time critics argued that after six years with Aitken at the helm, the national side was in need of a fresh approach and change of direction. It was those sentiments that prompted Broughton to apply for a role on the selection panel.

The successful Southland coach said with the panel largely unchanged for the past eight years, the set-up was in need of a new voice.

"I do think there needed to be a change, they've had the same people there for about eight years so you can get stuck in your ways. I'll just bring a fresh perspective on things," said Broughton, who was made a Netball New Zealand life member earlier this year.

It is the first time the successful Southland coach has been involved in the Silver Ferns since she served as assistant coach of the national team under Yvonne Willering from 2000-02.

She said it was nice to be back in the fray, but her motivation for doing so was more about "being there for the players".

"Netball takes up most of my life so I see these girls every day and I'm in constant contact with them all so I know what's going on. I just wanted to be involved so I can see how it all works and keep them honest really."

With Leigh Gibbs having stepped down, the Ferns assistant coach job is also up for grabs but Broughton said she does not wish to stretch her involvement with the side that far and would not be applying for the role.

Applications for the position closed yesterday, but so far there have been very few names bandied about.

New Zealand A coach and Mystics assistant Te Aroha Keenan is believed to be interested in the role.

- NZ Herald

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