New Steel co-coach Janine Southby passes on a few tips to
Columba College pupils Georgia Nichol (left) and Millie
Townsend at the school gym yesterday. Photo by Gerard
It is the marriage Steel fans hope will yield a
championship title and bring two netball communities closer
Dunedin-based coach Janine Southby and Invercargill's Natalie
Avellino were yesterday appointed co-coaches of the combined
Otago-Southland team, replacing the experienced Robyn
Broughton, who had been at the helm, after four years.
Both coaches are excited about working with each other and
see their joint appointment as a positive outcome. But, like
all marriages, communication will be the key to success.
"Natalie and I are probably a bit different in how we
approach things but we've both got our strengths which we
bring to the table," Southby told the Otago Daily Times.
"The biggest thing is we are both quite open to working
together and building a partnership. I think the support we
will offer each other will be fantastic.
"Obviously, we're not going to agree on everything. But we've
got some pretty strong foundations to make really good
decisions," the New Zealand under-21 coach added.
"I think it's going to be a great partnership - we're smart
enough and experienced enough to work with our strengths to
develop a successful team culture both on and off the court,"
she said in a statement.
For Southby, the ANZ Championship represents a step up in
class. Following in Robyn Broughton's footsteps was also
pretty daunting as well, she said.
"I totally respect Robyn and all she has done with the Sting
and the Steel over the years," the 42-year-old said.
"I was lucky enough to work with her last year [at the
fastnet series in England]. I have no illusion as to what
Natalie and I are stepping into and how we are going to be
judged and compared.
"It is a big step up from what I've done with the under-21s.
I've got a pretty good idea what it will be like, but until
you get into that arena you just never know exactly how it is
going to be.
"But the grounding I've had through under-21s and the high
performance environment should stand me in good stead."
Southby was keen to remain in her national role and the Steel
board was happy for her to continue. Links like that can be
invaluable, and asked if there would be some new faces in the
squad next year, Southby responded: "Watch this space".
"I'm halfway through a four-year campaign with the under-21s
and am pretty excited with what I'm starting to see from
these players." Southby (nee Brown) grew up in Dunedin and is
married to Roger. The couple have two daughters, Grace (7)
and Ella (5).
So the Columbia College physical education teacher has a busy
life but, with careful organisation and good planning, she
hopes commuting between Dunedin and Invercargill will not
prove too hectic.
Some of the finer details of how the season will be
structured have not been worked out yet.
The Steel board is keen to increase its profile in Dunedin
and it would not be a surprise if Southby spent the bulk of
the week working with the Dunedin-based players.
The Southby file
Name: Janine Southby
Married to: Roger with two daughters, Grace (7) and
Playing career: Western Flyers 1997-2001, Otago Rebels
Coaching career: Otago Rebels 2006-07, New Zealand
under-21 2010 to present