Taurua taking her time over Magic captaincy

Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic coach Noeline Taurua has not yet contemplated who will captain the defending champions in this season's trans-Tasman league.

The Magic have been training since November, though their four Silver Ferns players just joined them last week after their well-earned break.

But Taurua has other things to think about before instantly putting the ‘c' beside one of their names.

"That's something that we'll look at, probably as a leadership group or senior group, as to how we want to run that," Taurua said.

"But we haven't even gone there to be honest. We've just got the team together to see what people can actually do out on court and to run strategies that we think may or may not work."

However, Taurua did hint that Laura Langman would again take the reins, for a fourth straight season.

"Definitely she's been a strong leader right throughout," Taurua said. "Changes only happen if there's something wrong basically, and there's nothing wrong, things are working well."

If Taurua wanted to change things up she has an embarrassment of leadership contenders again at her disposal with other experienced internationals Irene van Dyk, Leana de Bruin and Casey Kopua (nee Williams) - the current Ferns skipper.

But she is also keen on developing the influence of others in the 14-strong squad, which includes three players who haven't taken the court in the ANZ Championship before.

"It's also about creating an environment where everybody can take care of their own job and not rely on somebody else to tell them what to do. We've got good senior people that have been around but it's also [about] creating an environment that everyone can lead in different ways."

The Magic are currently working on their centre pass attack and defence before they lose half their squad for the following fortnight to a training camp in Auckland involving the Silver Ferns and New Zealand Accelerant and Under-21s squads.

"When everybody's there we're making sure that we're working strategy, then when they're away we'll be making sure that we can consolidate with the ones that are left and that they understand what's actually happening," Taurua said.

The Magic's first pre-season hitout is against the Northern Mystics in Auckland on February 20, before they take on the Central Pulse in New Plymouth on February 23 and the Australian Institute of Sport at the same venue the following day.

The next week they may face a men's side, before their first match of the competition against the Canterbury Tactix on March 24 in Nelson.

Waikato Times