Dana Johannsen is the NZ Herald's chief sports reporter

Netball: Central Pulse name new coach

Coach Yvette McCausland-Durie of Central Pulse. Photo / Getty Images.
Coach Yvette McCausland-Durie of Central Pulse. Photo / Getty Images.

The Central Pulse have parted ways with Tanya Dearns after one season, with the franchise today announcing Yvette McCausland-Durie will lead the Wellington-based side in 2017.

The move comes after yet another disappointing season from the Pulse, who finished last in the New Zealand conference with just two wins from 13 outings.

While the Pulse had a tough run of luck, losing veteran shooter Jodi Brown and midcourter Whitney Souness to serious knee injuries in the preseason, their campaign was also dogged by rumours of a rift in the camp and poor management.

The Pulse have pitched the appointment of McCausland-Durie as a fresh start as the competition moves to a new era.

It is the second major appointment this year for McCausland-Durie, who was last month named as Silver Ferns assistant coach.

McCausland-Durie recently guided a young Netball Central team to the runners-up spot in this year's inaugural Beko League, a development competition specifically introduced to provide a level of competition that sits immediately below the ANZ Championship.

"With New Zealand and Australia going their separate ways next year and the establishment of the New Zealand elite domestic league, we could not ignore the success Yvette had with the Central Beko team when selecting a coach for next year's inaugural season and believe she is the right person for the job," said Netball Central CEO Carolyn Young.

The appointment of McCausland-Durie also fits with Netball Central's plans to align the Pulse and Beko teams more closely. In a bid to strengthen the overall coaching programme, a Director of Performance will be appointed within the next fortnight to oversee both teams.

Young thanked Dearns for her contribution to the team this season, but said a fresh start to the competition was time for a fresh approach.

"We have just come through a very tough campaign. Tanya and the team had their fair share of bad luck, particularly with more than one career-ending injury. With the new competition having different challenges, the Board felt the experience of Yvette in the head coach role was the best option to help set the platform for the team heading into a new and exciting era."

Dearns said she was disappointed the decision had been made not to reappoint her for another year.

"I would have liked to coach the team for another year but I accept the Board's decision that they want to take the team in a different direction and I wish them all the best for the next season," she said.

McCausland-Durie's appointment marks a return to the franchise she coached from 2009-11 before stepping aside to focus on her family.

"This is an honour and I'm delighted to be back with the Pulse," McCausland-Durie said. "This is where it all began for me at a high performance level and I know I've come a long way since then.

"I'm passionate about netball and high performance sport. With this new domestic competition, it is an exciting time to be involved and I am looking forward to starting a new era with the Pulse."

The New Zealand elite domestic league, comprising six teams and a three-round format, will be launched in April 2017.

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