Te Aroha Keenan leaves Mystics

Last updated 18:20 12/07/2010
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Northern Mystics' trans-Tasman netball league coach Te Aroha Keenan has opted not to renew her contract for the 2011 season, franchise chief executive Mark Cameron said today.

Keenan has decided return to her position of deputy principal at Mt Albert Grammar in Auckland, ending a two-year leave of absence.

The Mystics finished sixth in this year's league, despite strengthening their roster with a bevy of international players including Silver Ferns Joline Henry, Larrissa Willcox and Maria Tutaia, and Jamaican defender Althea Byfield.

They finished seventh in 2008, the ANZ Championship's inaugural year, under the guidance of former New Zealand coach Yvonne Willering.

In Keenan's first year at the helm in 2009, the Mystics managed three wins and 10 losses to finish eighth, improving to sixth this year, recording seven wins and six losses.

Cameron said Keenan's decision to step down as Mystics' coach was a reflection of her desire to return to teaching.

"We are disappointed to lose someone of Te's calibre, as she has contributed to the team's and franchise's significant improvement in the past two years," he said.

"Te will leave knowing the franchise is in a much better position than when she took on the 2009 role as head coach."

Cameron said a recruitment process would begin within the next two weeks to find a replacement for the 2011 season.

The Mystics kick off their 2011 campaign in mid-February, with player recruitment being a priority over the next month or so, Cameron added.

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