Interviews begin for Jets job

Four candidates were to be interviewed this week for the vacant Manawatu Jets coaching job.

The vacancy came about when the national league coach of the past three seasons, Ryan Weisenberg, resigned last week for family reasons.

When expressions of interest closed on Monday night for the five-month appointment, the Jets had received 13 for this season and one very strong expression of interest for future seasons.

That candidate was not available this year but was keen to be involved in coaching the Jets in the future.

Of the four candidates being interviewed live in New Zealand, one is believed to be in Manawatu and two are from overseas.

Three applicants have coached in either Australia or New Zealand at the highest league level.

One of them has not coached in New Zealand or Australia but has come with strong endorsements from coaches who have coached in New Zealand at the top level.

Up to three interviews by the Jets board and panel members were to be conducted on Skype, and for two of them, the Jets had to allow for time differences.

Acting general manager Janet Thompson said the Jets remained on track for an early announcement.

The Jets are entered in a pre-season tournament at Porirua in early April.

They will play the Taranaki Mountain Airs on Saturday, April 6, and the James Blond Super City Rangers the following day.

The Rangers are the low-budget Waitakere City from west Auckland, who return to the national league for the first time in 18 years.

Waitakere Basketball made their move following the capitulation of both the Harbour Heat and defending champions Auckland Pirates, which sees both franchises out of the league indefinitely.

They will be the only team in the competition with a 100 per cent volunteer roster, including both players and coaches.

Waitakere's first appearance in a league game in Palmerston North will be on Anzac Day, April 25, at 3pm.

The Jets start their NBL season with a Friday nighter at 6pm on April 19 against Hawke's Bay at Arena Manawatu.

A day later they travel to Nelson for a 7pm game.

Manawatu Standard