Although she has accepted a role as a part-time Silver Ferns assistant coach, Noeline Taurua has not had a change of heart to want to be an assistant full-time.
The Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic coach was this week announced as one of four assistants for the New Zealand side for a season in which they will play nine test matches.
Taurua will be alongside coach Waimarama Taumaunu for the three-match Constellation Cup series against Australia in September, before Southern Steel co-coach Janine Southby, Northern Mystics assistant Gail Parata and Mystics coach Debbie Fuller have their turns in helping out.
Last year Taurua worked alongside Ruth Aitken and then Taumaunu, but in October she said she would decline to apply to be an assistant, preferring to remain as a regional head coach after missing out on the Ferns top job.
"Pretty much you can control your own programme and what you do, and the philosophies that you follow," Taurua had said at the time. "At the moment, the assistant coach's role doesn't sit with where I want to go as a coach."
While being named as an assistant this week may have looked like Taurua's thinking had changed, it hasn't. "The timing of it's perfect, it's September, so I've had enough rest to come out of here [at the Magic]," she explained. "And secondly it's a short term, so I'm only doing a five-day stint which is camp and the 12-day [period] in Constellation. So that suits me because there's not much happening at that time in my life.
"Permanent makes it a bit different because then you're looking like one or two years, because normally you'd be looking for the setup going into the Comm Games and also the Worlds."
Taurua is excited by the chance to be involved in the Constellation Cup series, and said it was one New Zealand wants to win after the Australian Diamonds won the inaugural series in 2010 2-1 then took last year's series 3-2.
Although many of her Magic players will feature in the Ferns, Taurua likes the chance she gets to work with the other players too. "When I was with them last time it was great for me to coach the other girls, for me it's quite a privilege, and learn their styles."
Taumaunu's decision to go for the four assistants was based on a four-year plan she wrote when appointed last year.
The thinking behind it was to help ease players into the international environment by involving their regional coaches in the Ferns setup and to utilise their shared expertise.
While it is an alteration from the norm for New Zealand, Taurua pointed out that former Australia coach Norma Plummer had done a similar thing in the past, bringing in certain coaches depending on what she wanted to concentrate on.
- © Fairfax NZ News