Why star cut ties with Silver Ferns to link with Lightning
NETBALL: Laura Langman admits it was difficult to cut her long-standing ties with the New Zealand national team to link with the Sunshine Coast Lightning but believes the move will help her become a better player and person.
The 30-year-old mid-courter has played 137 consecutive games for the Silver Ferns since making her debut as a teenager in 2005.
But the run is set to come to an end next year. Netball New Zealand's policy is that athletes must be based in New Zealand and play for a domestic franchise to be eligible for national selection.
Langman will play for the new Lightning in a new Australian competition, the National Netball League.
"It had some complications for me, the split competitions, but I just reflected on what I wanted as an athlete and a person and the move to the Sunshine Coast team was a good fit," she said.
She said she respected NNZ's policy and still harboured hopes of playing for the Silver Ferns in the future.
And she's still intent on doing her bit for netball across the ditch. Langman hopes to further develop a program - Netfit - for aspiring players there.
Langman will reconnect with coach Noeline Taurua at the Sunshine Coast, after they spent years together at Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic.
They were captain and coach of the side when it won the now defunct trans-Tasman ANZ Championship in 2012.
Most recently, Langman took her game to new heights with the Sydney Swifts in the championship but she's now eager to step things up another notch under Taurua in the new domestic league.
"She's always been a coach I've admired for how she develops her players," she said.
Taurua was delighted to have Langman on court.
"Her work ethic and training ethic is very high," she said.
"She's got speed and her willingness to learn and be a better netballer is amazing. She's got a lot of punch and power through the middle...and she's very good in regards to building strong combinations."
The Lightning is a joint venture of Melbourne Storm and the University of the Sunshine Coast.