With all five Australian Tasman Trophy coaches now appointed, discussions are underway across the country with prospective players as the race to recruit ‘dream teams’ for next year’s challenging debut season of the competition hots up.
The teams from NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia, have selected experienced coaches to launch their charge on the inaugural 2008 Tasman Trophy title.
Heading the coaching group is NSW’s Julie Fitzgerald who steered Sydney TAB Swifts to four Commonwealth Bank Trophy titles, former England and Fiji national coach and 2005 Commonwealth Bank Trophy championship winning coach, Julie Hoornweg and former Australian captain and rising star in the coaching ranks, Vicki Wilson. Western Australia’s Sue Gaudion, who took the helm of Perth Orioles in 2006 and South Australia’s Jane Woodlands also made their impact as coaches at state 21/U level.
The appointment of coaches was a critical stage in the development of the Tasman Trophy teams and Netball Australia’s Chief Executive Kate Palmer is thrilled with the calibre of the coaches.
“Tasman Trophy will be a whole new world for the coaches as they recruit and blend new faces into their line ups and prepare game plans for international travel,” Palmer said.
“They will face pressures of preparing athletes for international rivalry and parochial New Zealand crowds, plus the challenge of the New Zealand game styles and tactics.”
Australian coach Norma Plummer said she wished the coaches every success in the debut season of the competition.
“The national program is there to support these coaches. I look forward to assisting where I can and working closely with each of the Tasman Trophy coaches,” Plummer said.
The new Tasman Trophy Netball League begins next year, bringing together five teams from Australia and five teams from New Zealand to compete in an action-packed 17-week season from April until July. It replaces the Commonwealth Bank Trophy in Australia and National Bank Cup in New Zealand.
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