Janine Southby has been appointed as head coach of the Southern Steel franchise.
Southby and Natalie Avellino shared co-coaching duties during Steel's ANZ Championship campaign this year. However, last week the Southern TeamCo board, which governs the Steel, supported Bannister's recommendation the franchise revert back to a traditional coaching structure.
While Southby got the nod to lead the coaching team, Avellino, a former Australian representative, will add considerable value as assistant coach.
"Retaining both Janine and Nat was extremely important to us," Bannister said.
"They are both dedicated and passionate coaches who play a vital role in the future of our franchise.
"Ultimately, it was the structure, not the personnel involved, which I believe needed to change. Having one head coach is a model which works and that's proven by the fact it's so prevalent in both sport and business around the world."
Southby said she was excited about the opportunity the Steel role presents.
"Obviously, the focus is now on contracting players to enable us to keep building on the platform we established this season," she said.
"I know from a results perspective we didn't achieve as well as we would have liked this year but there was a lot of growth and development in the players - often in ways the public don't get to see.
"The learning which occurred this year will be very beneficial to the Steel so it's paramount we retain our nucleus of players as well as adding strength where needed to continue moving forward towards our ultimate goal of winning the ANZ Championship."
Bannister said Southby's high performance experience gave her the edge.
"As the current New Zealand Under-21 coach, Janine is immersed in that elite high performance environment and that's something we are striving to emulate at the Steel."
Avellino's coaching skills have also been recognised by Netball New Zealand following her appointment to Wai Taumaunu's coaching team for the Silver Ferns Fast5 campaign in November.
While she was disappointed to miss out on the lead role with Steel, Avellino said she remained committed to the franchise.
"Unfortunately, in the world of professional sport, not every decision goes your way. But it doesn't alter the passion I have for coaching or this team and I'm looking forward to working alongside Janine to continue what we started this year," she said.
"I know I have a lot of skills and experience to offer as a coach, not only for the Steel but netball as a whole, and I'm looking forward to pursuing opportunities which enable me to do that while further challenging me as a coach."
- © Fairfax NZ News