Langman return to Waikato-BOP Magic likely
Laura Langman has ruled out a move south of Hamilton, now it's just a matter of her deciding if the Magic or Mystics need her most.
After 11 seasons with the Waikato-Bay of Plenty side, the midcourt supremo this season shifted to the Northern Mystics with the aim of developing her combination with Silver Ferns shooters Maria Tutaia and Cathrine Latu ahead of the Commonwealth Games and world champs.
But within the space of a season, Langman may go full circle and find herself back at the Magic.
She is coy on her plans, with one match remaining for the Mystics, and then players from outside one team can't be approached by another franchise until after the June 22 grand final.
"I don't like to rush," Langman said. "Everything will fall into place and I have 100 per cent confidence in that. I'm just going to take it as it comes."
"To be honest, I don't even think it's up to me whether I stay or go. It's what the needs of the teams [are] really."
Langman and her husband still live in Hamilton and she works for accounting firm Deloitte, while also training to become a pilates instructor. She said with a built-up support network in Hamilton, where she does her own training, means relocating to the Pulse, Tactix or Steel wouldn't be an option.
"The beauty of having another franchise so close was the ability for me to be able to commute, because I'm a Waikato girl born and bred so I don't like to spend too long out of the Waikato air," Langman said.
While the Mystics are again also-rans, Langman felt the move had been worth it.
"I certainly think it has. I think I've gained a greater understanding of what type of ball, when it needs to be delivered, how much snow to put on it, how fast to put it in," she said.
The culture at the Mystics has been looked at as a reason for their poor results and Langman noted it was "one that is very expressive and promotes individual growth, which is fantastic, and I don't think there's a right or wrong" but she certainly likes what the Magic have done this year.
"They have been fantastic and they have been consistent from week to week and that is what every team strives to do. So they got it right. All the other teams could learn a lot from them. It's a real skill to be able to pull a group together in a very short space of time and have performance. [Coach] Julie [Fitzgerald] and the Magic girls have done that extremely well."
The Magic would welcome back Langman with open arms. When Fitzgerald first took on the role she labelled Langman as the best player in the world at the time.
"She might have changed her point of view after reading my stats this year," Langman said.
But with Courtney Tairi being a liability in several games, a direct swap with Langman would be gold.
And Langman is not the only midcourter the Magic could add to their ranks, with the Central Pulse's Joline Henry - who also lives in Hamilton - keen for a return too. Stopping that this year was her loyalty to coach Robyn Broughton, but now Broughton's future is up in the air.
Those two experienced Ferns would tidy up everything about the Magic's centre third issues this year.
The only question would be around whether the Magic could fit them under their salary cap.
But it's a good problem to have for chief executive Tim Hamilton, who is in regular discussions with Fitzgerald about the make-up of the team for the future.
"If people knock on our door, absolutely, it's what happened last year, we are open, however there are restrictions around that [until June 22]," he said.
"We've got a well publicised young team for 2014 and we're just looking to develop into 2015 and 16 and beyond."