As she takes on her "dream job", Noeline Taurua isn't one to hold grudges.

Taurua was unveiled today as the 11th coach of the Silver Ferns, after weeks of speculation that she was the obvious — and probably only — candidate to replace Janine Southby.

She's contracted until the 2019 World Cup, and will also continue in her head coach role at the Sunshine Coast Lightning.

Taurua was also the leading contender to take the Ferns job back in 2015, but missed out after one of the worst administrative blunders in New Zealand sports history.


Despite her standout record, Taurua didn't even make the final shortlist of two in that flawed process and the inexperienced Southby was handed the reigns.

Today's decision will go some way towards repairing the damage, but Taurua emphasised she had moved on quickly from that snub.

"Three years is a long time," said Taurua. "A lot has happened since then and I have no hangups about anything. I'm looking forward to where it could go now, and where we could go for World Championships."

Taurua even implied that missing out, though painful at the time, was a blessing in disguise, as she coached the Southern Steel to an ANZ Premiership title before back to back triumphs across the Tasman with the Lightning.

"I'm very open to the fact that some times aren't the right time," said Taurua. "Because of that I've been able to learn and grow, not only as a coach, but also as a person. I feel that the skills that I've learnt over the last three years have probably set me up better in this role than maybe if I was here previously.

"My life has not revolved about netball, or Netball New Zealand," added Taurua with admirable honesty. "But I am so passionate about netball, and, like anything in life, when you do go for a job and you miss out, you need to reflect on things that you could do better. That moment was just a moment in time, [but] it made me think about me as a coach, why I coached, and what the purpose was."

Noeline, Noeline, Noeline, Noeline. Photo / Photosport
Noeline, Noeline, Noeline, Noeline. Photo / Photosport

Taurua has regularly had the midas touch in her coaching career, but deflected talk that she was going to save the sport.

"It will be challenging [and] the time frame is very limited," said Taurua. "But the brand of the Silver Ferns is huge and why I played netball, why I am here. I'm looking forward to getting on the boat and moving forward."


Taurua will be able to call upon Laura Langman and Casey Kopua, but was coy about the role she played in their return.

"I've known them both since they were 16," said Taurua. "[But] I don't know if I persuaded them. At the end they need to make those decisions themselves."

Taurua hopes to appoint an assistant coach next week and will also lean heavily on the ANZ Premiership coaches to monitor players.

Netball NZ CEO Jennie Wyllie is confident that Taurua's unique dual commitment is viable.

"It was about getting the right person," said Wyllie. "We have landed with that person, and the [Ferns] are in safe hands. We have gone into a truck load of detail in terms of how it is going to work."

Wyllie added that the Ferns' eligibility rules were still under review, but didn't expect that the recent exemptions granted to Langman and Maria Folau would be the first of many.

"Our number one priority remains our own talent pathway," said Wyllie. "We needed to put some experience back into the group, [so] providing an exemption to a couple of players was a short term requirement and we will see where that heads."

But that's the future. Today was Taurua's day in the sun, and what a ride it is going to be.