Netball New Zealand are on the hunt for their 11th head coach after Janine Southby announced her resignation on Friday in the wake of the Silver Ferns Commonwealth Games review.
Southby's resignation has left a clean slate for the Ferns' coaching staff after a lack of leadership was revealed as one of the key aspects that led the squad to their worst ever Games result.
The former head coach's leadership style was pinpointed as the key reason for the division that emerged between the coaches and players, with the review finding that players had lost confidence in Southby's preferred player-led approach, compared with the more dictatorial structure.
But former assistant coach Yvette McCausland-Durie backed Southby's style of coaching and said she believed a lack of overall experience within the team contributed to the diminished faith seen on court.
"I didn't feel as though we were falling apart, we lost some games and that hurt, but I think having a really young group it was a challenging position," McCausland-Durie said.
"No matter what we think, when we sit down on the bench there's very little that they [players] can either hear nor that we can change before the break so their ability to understand their role and take responsibility is a really important aspect."
"I think it's a bit part of how everyone coaches now and Janine was really confident to lead that ... she always led everything, there was always a plan put forward and then that was discussed as a group and owned as a group."
"There have been lots of points made around coach point of difference and I think I see that a lot in this environment that when you can bring points of difference you can add value."
With a leader-less culture in the absence of an earlier exodus of veteran players, the review found that the remaining senior players were unable to fill the huge leadership void created, while the lack of experience in the coaching staff was also noted.
Although the review concluded that players had already lost confidence during their 2017 international season, McCausland-Durie said she didn't personally feel a disconnect with any of the Ferns.
"I think there's some great talent there, I am really comfortable working with any of the players ... I feel really comfortable and don't feel a disconnect with any of them," she said.
"I think they really put their hands up each game and were very much about not pointing at each other and taking responsibility and I think for all of us that learning has been huge."
As time ticks for NNZ to appoint a new head coach, CEO Jennie Wyllie indicated a caretaker coach could lead the Ferns in the upcoming Quad Series after claiming to have not yet been in contact with any prospective candidates.
McCausland-Durie said the option could be a smart move for NNZ in order to "settle" the team environment ahead of the Series.
"I think that they're very aware about getting the right people and that takes time," she said, "I respect that the decision around a caretaker role is quite urgent and immediate with the series coming up and it will help settle things."
"There are some good coaches out there and NNZ will make the decision about readiness and they may cast the net wider and I think that's great, they need to find the right person for the job and I'm at peace with that."
The Pulse head coach, who is now off-contract with the Ferns, is unlikely to put her hand up for the role due to being under contract with the Wellington franchise for the next ANZ Premiership season.
Meanwhile, Noeline Taurua has been identified as the best candidate for the role, but her commitment with the Sunshine Coast Lightning could see her unavailable for the position.