Marshall out to continue progress made in his first season

Todd Marshall. Photo: Linda Robertson/file
Todd Marshall. Photo: Linda Robertson/file
Todd Marshall and the Hoiho have unfinished business.

Marshall has been reappointed for a second season as coach of the southern side in Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa.

The veteran coach said he did not have to think hard when offered another year in the role.

"I think it’s a waste of everyone’s time if you just give it one year,"’ Marshall said yesterday.

"Your first year sort of sets some of your style in place, and if it works out in your first year, it’s silly to only do one. That doesn’t build a programme or bring any continuity whatsoever.

"That first year is about setting out who we are and how we operate and how we work together, so it’s good to continue that."

The Hoiho certainly made some positive progress last year.

They won just one game out of 12 in their inaugural season but bounced back to a 7-5 record last year, finishing second after the regular season before losing to the Tokomanawa Queens in the semifinal.

Marshall was pleased with how the squad developed last year.

"We were a genuinely strong, competitive team in the league, so that was a step in the right direction.

"We’ve got to make sure that continues, really, and make sure we are there fighting for the title, not just to get wins."

The Tauhi league is being ambitious - quite aggressively so - as it enters a third season.

It is doubling player wages, assessing the possibility of international teams joining the league, and shifting the games to an October-December window in a bid to get more exposure and attract more elite players.

A free-agency period will demand teams sign at least 12 players, no fewer than five of whom must be imports, including at least two Australians.

Marshall is intrigued about where the league is heading and hopeful there will still be opportunities for local players to get plenty of Tauihi action.

"There are a lot of unknowns, really, and it feels a wee bit like starting again.

"It’s definitely a big change. It’s all about high-level entertainment and that’s really the focus of the whole league, and it will be a big step up in terms of trying to get high-quality players.

"You can sort of be in two minds. You can wonder, heck, how will our local players fit into this, because you’re bringing in more international players?

"But we’ve got to make it work for our local squad members, and embrace it. They’re going to be around high-level players, which is only going to lift their level, and that’s the intention."

Marshall and Hoiho boss Angela Ruske will now set about building a roster under the new requirements.

"There are some real juggles going on in the background. It’s going to be an interesting challenge for us."