Glasgow on van Dyk's mind but she's coping

HAMISH BIDWELL
Last updated 05:00 24/07/2014
Irene van Dyk
ROSS GIBLIN/Fairfax NZ
TAKING IT EASY: Irene van Dyk relaxes at home with her pet beagle Hunter.

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Irene van Dyk avoids letting her mind wander.

The great goal shoot might have retired from international netball but, having been part of the Silver Ferns' Commonwealth Games plans until the 11th hour, she knows their schedule back to front. And that can consume her, if she lets it.

"Luckily I haven't had too much time to mope around, but I can't stop thinking about them," van Dyk.

"I think about them the whole time, and my heart is still with them, and if I hadn't been this busy it would've killed me. I'm adjusting slowly but surely."

Through the real-estate company she's brand ambassador for, van Dyk's conducting junior coaching courses, and has now signed with a travel outfit to guide tour groups through this year's Constellation Cup series against Australia, then next year's Netball World Cup.

She's also getting plenty of game time, having joined St Mary's Old Girls.

She last played club netball in 2001, for Wellington East. But with East and PIC already boasting strong rosters, van Dyk wanted to be part of a team that needed her, rather than take the place of an established player.

"We have a man, Dion [new Wellington NPC coach Dion Te Whetu] as coach and he's been brilliant. It's so different having a man at the helm; he's straight up, he knows exactly what he wants and, honestly, I am loving it.

"When I came back from my first training [husband] Christie was like: how old are you? 42 or 12? I was absolutely buzzing, I had so much fun and I said to Christie ‘I just want to shoot hoops'."

Due to her commitments with House of Travel, van Dyk may not be available to play for Te Whetu at NPC level.

But she's promising punters a unique experience should they sign up for her tour party.

"Man, I am going to make it count. Everyone is going to have a freaking ball," she said.

"It's going to be fun in the stands, I can tell you that. The [Silver Ferns] girls are going to know we're there and there in force."

Van Dyk will sign her one-year contract extension with the Central Pulse in the next few days, ahead of a 2015 season which is likely to be her last at trans-Tasman Netball League level. This year's Pulse campaign was hard on her, and she's determined to bow out with some performances more worthy of her immense contribution to the game.

"It's not that I want to prove anything to people, it's more about playing bloody brilliant netball and making this last bit count."

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- The Dominion Post

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