The Central Pulse are prepared to pull out all the stops to retain Robyn Broughton as head coach of the improving trans-Tasman netball league franchise.
Broughton met with the team's recruitment committee, comprising board members Tina Ng and Tim Castle along with general manager Kyla Lange, last week, where she was told of the Pulse's desire to see her complete a job that she's made a such a promising start to.
Broughton told The Dominion Post just over a week ago, that her initial plan had been to stay at the Pulse for just this year. Staying on for 2013 had become a possibility, she said, because she shared the franchise's belief that the team was only scratching the surface of its potential.
Her only fear being the toll that spending six months living alone in an inner-city apartment was having on her sanity, plus her real life back in Invercargill.
"We've got to be mindful of her requirements and we've got certain parameters that we've got to work within and that's what we'll do. She's got her commitments to the school [Verdon College], to her husband, to her family and to the region, because she's very much a Southlander and that's great," Pulse chairman Ian Collier said.
"I think she's been pretty open about it too, she still sees this as unfinished business. We're making progress and we've got the momentum that we've all been looking for so the key thing is let's find out what her wishlist is, for both her and the team, and hopefully we can get a commitment from her for next season and if we do we'll move on from there."
Collier said the existing playing group had not been approached about next year yet, although The Dominion Post understands that might occur this week.
"It's one thing at a time and the first thing is to get her [Broughton] over the line and signed up for next year. We make no secret of the fact that we want to keep her in the region and keep her at the franchise, so that is the first thing that we're committed to," he said.
It's not uncommon for coaches to commute to teams, with the Northern Mystics being a good example.
Head coach Debbie Fuller travels to Auckland from Mt Maunganui, while assistant Gail Parata is based in Wellington and technical advisor Megan Dehn flies in from Sydney to work with the team ahead of their matches against the Australian franchises. An arrangement along those lines could be attractive to Broughton.
Collier said every avenue would be explored because, without a definitive answer from Broughton, signing players was extremely difficult.
Elsewhere, plenty of work is going on to shore things up on the commercial front. Advanced discussions are underway with sponsors, while there's also the unexpected problem of how to accommodate the Pulse's increasing legion of fans.
"One of biggest challenges now is that demand is outstripping the supply of seats," Collier said.
The 2300-capacity Te Rauparaha Arena still has a year to run on its deal as the "home" of the Pulse. But having had 3800 fans turn up for the team's 47-46 win over the Adelaide Thunderbirds at TSB Bank Arena, the franchise is now wondering if that venue might be a better fit.
Collier said the situation required more talks between themselves and the Porirua and Wellington City Councils.
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