After three years in the assistant’s role, Anna Andrews-Tasola will make the step up to head coach of the Central Manawa team for next year’s Beko Netball League.
Netball Central achieved an unprecedented double this year when securing both the Beko and ANZ Premiership titles, coaching being a key factor as the Zone looks to build on its talent pool across this facet of the game.
As a result, Andrews-Tasola will have two assistants next year, one of whom will be based outside of Wellington, in a push to ensure coaching pathways are available across the Zone while succession planning remains to the forefront.
``We’ve always had a point of difference at Netball Central in regards to the way that the programmes are run and this is another opportunity to try something out and expose more coaches to that level,’’ Andrews-Tasola said.
``It opens the way for new ideas, coaches to bring something of themselves while supporting each other and the more ideas we have, then the better the team will be.’’
Highlighting the success of Central’s coaching pathways, former Manawa head coach Pelesa Semu has assumed the assistant’s role with Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse for 2020 while head coach Yvette McCausland-During also came via the Beko route.
Continuing to build on her resume, Andrews-Tasola has forged an impressive record at club, age-group, national and international level with a particularly successful return in 2019, which included winning the Beko title, winning the gold medal at the Pacific Games as head coach of the Cook Islands team, guiding the Wellington Centre team to the U19 national championship title while also being head coach of the PIC Premier 1 team in Wellington club netball.
Having three years under her belt as assistant coach with Manawa has been key for Andrews-Tasola, who is now ready for the next step.
``This will be my fourth year in the programme, so I’m just really excited to continue to grow, learn and evolve as a coach while bringing in a new cycle of players in 2020,’’ she said.
``I haven’t been in any rush to progress too quickly and for me personally, the longer you’re in that environment means you’re exposed to different situations and it just helps you grow and learn while adding to the tools in the tool box.’’
Sitting directly below the ANZ Premiership, the Beko League is an important pathway for coaches and players to the elite level, Manawa having been a dominating presence since its inception in 2016.
Finishing runners-up in the first edition, Manawa have forged a considerable reputation after winning the next three on the trot, Andrews-Tasola unfazed about the expectations.
``For me, there’s no pressure. The focus is to provide a great environment for athletes to come through,’’ she said. ``We will play to earn, so it all depends on the work we do next year and making sure that we earn our placing. Our eyes will be on the prize, as usual, but we have to earn it.
``It’s really important as a coach to continue to grow and learn, so it’s all about reflecting on my experiences over the last couple of years as an assistant and also as head coach of the Cook Islands team and using all that experience as well as getting feedback from the wider Netball Central coaching staff in regards to what we can do better moving forward.’’
Trials for the Manawa team will be held in early January.
Applications for Assistant Coach roles will be advertised shortly.