After swapping her playing hat for a career in coaching, Anna Andrews-Tasola has reached a personal milestone in being appointed assistant coach for the Central Beko Netball League team.

Andrews-Tasola has had lead and assistant coaching roles with Wellington under-17 and under-19 teams in recent years while also boasting a strong background in club coaching. She is currently studying a Certificate in Sports Training and Development and is part of the Netball New Zealand Performance Coach Award Programme.

Joining experienced head coach Natalie Milicich as Central’s assistant in the Beko League is another step-up for Andrews-Tasola as she continues her coaching progression.

``It’s going to be about Natalie and I getting an understanding together of what we want to achieve for the year, how we can work together and use our strengths to be able to do that as a team,’’ she said.

``I am extremely passionate about player development. We have a really rich pool of talent in the zone which has been fostered by local coaches, so it’s about supporting their development on the path for them to reach their potential and achieve their dreams.

``It’s going to be a new experience for me on a coaching level but I have had experience at international level with playing, so this is just going to be a different hat.’’

Andrews-Tasola had a diverse playing career, reaching the highest level when playing for the Cook Islands World Cup team while also turning out for the Capital Shakers and Western Flyers in the former national domestic competition as well as Wellington age-group teams.

The Beko League was specifically introduced to provide a level of competition that sits immediately below the ANZ Premiership, providing a pathway to the elite level by simulating a similar environment.

``It’s extremely exciting to be able to have the option for players to prepare themselves to take the next step into the semi-professional league and having this exposure and experience is a fantastic opportunity,’’ Andrews-Tasola said.

``This is the second season so it will be about continuing to build on the great foundation that former coaches Yvette (McCausland-Durie) and Frances (Solia) laid with their fantastic results last year.’’

The Central team finished runners-up in this year’s first edition of the Beko League.

Trials will be held in late January with a group of players already identified who are involved in individual programmes and regular camps.

In a new-look coaching partnership, Milicich couldn’t be happier with the appointment of her offsider.

``She is a young coach and is definitely passionate about the growth and development of our young athletes in the zone, so it’s going to be really exciting working alongside her,’’ she said.

``With her own experience as a representative player, she’s got a sense of understanding about what it takes to be a high-performance athlete. She’s really keen to pass those learnings on to some of these younger players and working in the environment which will enable her to assist in those development areas.’’