Beleaguered trans-Tasman league netball team Central Pulse today named their new coach as national under-21 coach Yvette McCausland-Durie.
McCausland-Durie had been widely tipped to take over after former Pulse coach Kate Carpenter was sacked early last month, one year into her three-year contract.
The Pulse, bereft of Silver Ferns or second-tier NZA netballers, had struggled against New Zealand and Australian franchises laden with international players.
The cash-strapped franchise failed to win any of their 13 games in the ANZ Championship's inaugural year, but chairman Nigel Kirkpatrick indicated Carpenter's dismissal was more related to balancing the books than her coaching record.
"The Pulse has identified that if we're going to be financially sustainable, we can't carry on the way we were last year because that wasn't successful," Kirkpatrick said.
Carpenter last week privately settled her Employment Relations Authority case against the Central Pulse and Netball New Zealand (NNZ). Neither party would comment on the terms of the settlement.
Kirkpatrick said today that McCausland-Durie would bring "a wealth of expertise and experience" to the Pulse.
"Yvette has done a lot for the Central Netball region, having been involved for many years with Netball Manawatu and a past coach of the Western Flyers.
"She has shown she has a great aptitude for developing players at all levels and we have great faith in her ability to build up a competitive team for 2009."
McCausland-Durie will finalise her coaching support team over the next week.
Because of the late appointment of McCausland-Durie, the ANZ Championship has now granted the Central Pulse franchise a further 18 working days extension to finalise their playing roster.
Before Carpenter's sacking, the Pulse had signed Silver Ferns shooter Paula Griffin and uncompromising Jamaican defender Althea Byfield. It is unclear whether the pair will now line up for the Pulse.
Kirkpatrick said the franchise was working through negotiations with players, but due to the late appointment of their new head coach had felt it prudent to ask for an extension so they could have coach involvement in finalising the player roster.
McCausland-Durie said she was thrilled to take on the new role as head coach of the central Pulse.
"I have a huge amount of passion for developing netball in the Central Region and I am really excited at the challenge of bringing together the most competitive Central Pulse team to compete in the 2009 ANZ Championship," she said in a statement.
Southern Steel, Canterbury Tactix and Central Pulse franchises had been granted an initial 20 working day extension to finalise their squads. The Central Pulse franchise must now have their confirmed playing roster finalised by December 24.
The Southern Steel have applied to the Eligibility Committee to re-consider the eligibility status of their 12th player. ANZ Championship and Netball New Zealand are coordinating the appeal process.
It is expected the Tactix will name their 12th player later today.