Stronger, better, faster was the marketing slogan for the Central Pulse this year.
It might have to be rolled out again in 2013 because, in the estimation of coach Robyn Broughton, the buzzwords were not delivered on this time round.
Broughton continues to sound enthusiastic about returning to the Pulse next year, as long as she can be convinced that the team and the board are as serious as her about winning.
The Pulse's five-win, eight-loss record was their best in five trans-Tasman netball league seasons, but still wasn't enough to truly impress Broughton. There were too many capitulations, like Sunday's to the West Coast Fever, for her to be satisfied with the team's efforts.
"I'm pretty hard-nosed when I'm a coach and I expect results," Broughton said.
"So either you want it and want it big time and you're prepared to go the extra mile to get it, or you don't. Not so much in terms of attitude, I just wonder about their ability.
"If you don't think you've got the ability, then you've got to do the work to increase your ability. Just work on your skills and get it up there and get it right, because it's a much better feeling winning than losing."
Broughton has one part of the court firmly in mind when she says that. Both in terms of Sunday and the season.
"To be frank, we lost it down in our attack end [against the Fever]. You can see that, I don't have to say it do I?" she said.
She praised goal shoot Caitlin Thwaites' "wonderful stats" of 85.7 percent for the season "but when the really important ones come, the turnover ones come, they're the ones we seem to miss".
Broughton added that she was disappointed by goal attack Paula Griffin, but felt the team lacked other shooters to turn to.
"You need a really, really strong bench for the shooting end, really. It's very hard to relieve those two and you need a really hard-nosed approach to it on attack and constant physical presence on attack, as well as defence."
You could argue Broughton has been spoilt by coaching Southern Steel star Donna Wilkins for so long.
"Yes, but I've had kids that have just got it in them to play like that as well. Like [the unavailable] Liana Leota, if she was still here she'd have made a big difference at that end."
The frustration for Broughton is that in Joline Henry, Katrina Grant and Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit, she knows she has a defensive trio who are the envy of the league.
"Katrina had an outstanding game on Sunday – outstanding – and it's really hard for her to look down the court and see what's happening to that ball," she said.
"Like Katrina's top in the ANZ in goal keeping stats – top – and Hu [Selby-Rickit] is fifth in the goal D position, out of about 21 goal Ds. So our circle Ds are definitely putting pressure on players and it's really hard for them when we're losing it in other parts of the court."
Little wonder Broughton feels she probably needs to come back to the Pulse to complete a job that's still "half done".
"But we've got to get the changes, we've got to make it work and everyone has to buy into it."
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