Waiting game continues for Donna Wilkins

MARK GEENTY
Last updated 05:00 02/10/2012
Donna Wilkins
DOUG FIELD/Fairfax NZ
WAITING GAME: Donna Wilkins is yet to announce who she will play for in next season's trans-Tasman netball competition.

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A board meeting tonight will firm up the Central Pulse's recruitment plans, notably whether sharpshooter Donna Wilkins will join the franchise.

Wilkins is widely reported to be heading north to be coached by her former Southern Steel mentor Robyn Broughton.

But with player and sponsorship negotiations at a delicate stage during the trans-Tasman league's transfer window, Pulse chairman Ian Collier and chief executive Kyla Lange were giving nothing away.

Collier confirmed tonight's meeting would shed more light on the situation but wouldn't discuss individual players.

Wilkins returned to the court after giving birth to her third child in January to be the third most accurate shooter this year, with 314 goals from 348 attempts.

The Southland Times reported the former Silver Fern was offered $100,000-plus by the Steel for the coming season, which presumably the Pulse would need to match.

Wilkins said last week she was close to deciding on her playing future but hadn't put pen to paper.

Netball New Zealand yesterday provided some financial certainty by confirming a new collective agreement and an increase in the salary cap from $300,000 to $380,000.

Teams can contract between 12 and 14 players, and while the cap will be strictly monitored, franchises can still undertake third party arrangements with players.

If the Pulse have sufficient financial backing, they could potentially boast an impressive roster.

Former Silver Ferns midcourter Liana Leota is also back on court after giving birth, and is in Broughton's sights.

The other key signature is that of Australian shooter Caitlin Thwaites, who is yet to recommit to the Pulse and is under pressure from Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander to move to an Australian franchise.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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