Central Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie back for two more years
The coach behind the revival of the Central Pulse netball team has re-committed for another two seasons.
Palmerston North's Yvette McCausland-Durie steered the perennial strugglers to their best season in history this year in the inaugural national netball premiership.
The Pulse finished second on the ladder, winning nine of their 15 games and overcame the Mystics in the elimination final to progress through to the grand final, which they lost 69-53 to the Steel, who went unbeaten in 2017.
"It was an easy decision for me," McCausland-Durie said. "We've made a commitment around a three-year plan, where we feel we've got the ability to make it through to be a winning championship team."
"I do think that when you're in a team environment it does take time and while we've had a great season in lots of ways, we do know there's still potential for us as a team. And there's also a lot of development for me as a coach and still huge amounts of progress that can be made."
Having built an impressive resume over the years, covering a variety of grades and levels, McCausland-Durie has relished a return to coaching senior players after first being at the helm of the Pulse in 2009-11.
Never one to get too carried away, McCausland-Durie was proud of the Pulse achievements this season.
"It's been an incredible season and while as a high performing team you set a goal at the start of the year that you want to make the finals, and to actually have that come to fruition was pretty satisfying for all of us.
"I've really enjoyed it because people have been really engaged, I've learnt a lot along the way, as a group we've connected and all of us are new in terms of working together. And that's been a real positive for us."
With a new coaching staff and playing roster in place, Netball Central high performance director Wai Taumaunu couldn't have asked for a better start to a new era.
While plenty of hard work was put in behind the scenes, a lack of injuries and enjoying the rub of the green at times had also played a part.
"I've been hugely impressed with how Yvette's managed the group," Taumaunu said.
"Sometimes when things fall your way, they just fall your way and I felt that getting into the elimination final was hard graft, but having it at home was a bit of luck."
McCausland-Durie and the Pulse will have to find a new starting goal shoot for 2018 with former Silver Fern Cathrine Tuivaiti signing with the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Australia's Super Netball.