By Liam Napier in Liverpool
Noeline Taurua has confirmed her future as Silver Ferns coach remains uncertain.
In a scarcely-believable scenario, Taurua has left the door open to the potential of her standing down, immediately after masterminding New Zealand netball's first World Cup success for sixteen years.
After being overlooked for the top job previously, Taurua instigated the most surreal transformation over the last 11 months, lifting the Ferns from failing to medal at the Commonwealth Games for the first time, to world champions.
In that time Taurua has juggled head coach roles with the Sunshine Coast Lightning in the Australian league, and the Ferns.
One day after the World Cup success in Liverpool, Taurua and Ferns captain Laura Langman will fly back to join the Lightning for the final eight weeks of the Suncorp Super Netball competition.
Training resumes on Thursday, with the Lightning due back on court this Saturday, leaving no time for a World Cup victory parade or celebrations in New Zealand.
The Australian league finishes in September, and only then will Taurua take time out to consider her future with the Ferns.
Naturally Netball New Zealand will be desperate to retain Taurua's unrivalled services.
Where others have failed, she immediately cracked the code.
As of now, though, her contract with the Ferns has finished.
After this success Taurua will be able to dictate terms of any potential reappointment.
"I'm just going to chill," Taurua said of her future beyond September after the Ferns' 52-51 victory over Australia in the World Cup final. "It's been quite tiring but I've been very committed to both programmes and making it happen. It will be a good time to sit back and reflect.
"Just so you know I won't leave Netball New Zealand in the lurch or Lightning as well. There will be a period of time that needs to be transitioned but we're still working through details. That will be pushed to the end of the year."
The likely scenario will see Taurua finish with the Lightning and stay on to progress her vision for New Zealand netball as a whole. But there are no guarantees.
Given her bargaining position the terms of a potential reappointment will have to be right.
"At the moment things are up in the air," Taurua said. "I haven't got to that stage yet. I've just been so committed to each programme and making sure I do that with the best. It's been a hard road for 11 months.
"I've got a lot of things happening in my life including my family so I've got to suss things out."
Veteran Ferns defender Casey Kopua, coaxed out of retirement by Taurua to return for this World Cup, wants her long-time mentor to stay on but also appreciates how important other areas of her life are.
"I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for her," Kopua said. "She knows how to bring 12 players together and get the best out in them and find out what you've got and what you're going to bring, no matter what. That's something I've never seen another coach do.
"We had no dickheads in our team so it was easy. There was no babysitting or managing people everyone was just there for the right reason and that's why she's such a good coach because she brings out the best in people but can also see on court if something is not quite right and make that change.
"She's pretty special. She goes outside the box which some coaches don't do. Definitely the best coach I've ever been coached by.
"I hope she does stay on but I know her and I know in her gut and in her heart that family comes first so whatever she does decide we'll back her 100 per cent. What she has installed in the ones that are still there will carry that on. They know what it should be like and how things are done."
Fern captain Laura Langman also returned to the New Zealand team after Taurua's appointment.
"She is amazing. I can't put her into words," Langman said. "We're lucky she's a Kiwi."