RECENTLY APPOINTED: Sunshine Coast Lightning coach Noeline Taurua.
RECENTLY APPOINTED: Sunshine Coast Lightning coach Noeline Taurua. John McCutcheon

Taurua set to step it up a notch at Lightning

NETBALL: She's already one of the game's most accomplished coaches but Noeline Taurua believes she's capable of much more at the Sunshine Coast's new national league netball team.

The 48-year-old is the only person to steer a New Zealand-based team - the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic - to the trans-Tasman inter-club ANZ Championship, in 2012.

She boasts a staggering 72% winning record in that competition and this year propelled Southern Steel to the minor premiership.

But the former national assistant coach believes her affiliation with the Lightning will lift her coaching to a new level.

"I don't think we've seen anything yet,” she said.

"I think I can only go up here and I'm really excited by that prospect.”

It's the level of professionalism surrounding the club and the depth of prospective players in Australia which has her brimming with enthusiasm.

"All the resources are here, there is venue (university stadium, gym, facilities) and the level of developing players and the number of players (in Australia) is astonishing,” she said.

"It's amazing what's here so I'm quite proud when I reflect on my history within the ANZ because we don't have the same resources there (in New Zealand).

"I'm excited by what I actually could do here and really excited by the journey that's ahead of me and with my growth and development as my coach.”

The Lightning is owned and operated by NRL juggernaut Melbourne Storm and the University of the Sunshine Coast and supported by Sunshine Coast Council so the club is likely to run as a well-oiled machine.

"As a coach, to grow and develop in a different environment, to be supported by an organisation like the Storm...it's one of those opportunities that don't come around too often,” she said.

"So there's so many positives and benefits from me to come over to Sunshine Coast and see how I go in the Australian elite competition.”

There's also the Queensland lifestyle.

"The Sunshine Coast is absolutely stunning so from a family point of view it's fantastic,” she said.

Clubs are yet to finalise rosters but Taurua has spent time with Storm officials in Melbourne and will cast her eyes over potential recruits at the Quad Series, involving the Diamonds, South Africa, England and New Zealand next month.

Taurua has also met local netball officials and players and has told the Daily of her desire to foster the game on the Sunshine Coast.



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