Netball: Southby not keen on role with Steel

Former Otago Rebels coach Janine Southby will not apply for the Southern Steel assistant coaching role but Southland coach Natalie Avellino will "most likely" put her name forward.

Dual international Donna Wilkins is expecting a baby later this year and has decided to step down from the role.

Southby yesterday ruled herself out, saying she was busy enough with family commitments and her role as assistant coach with the New Zealand Under-21 side.

"With the family and everything, I think I've got enough commitments at the moment."

Avellino said she had not given the job opportunity much thought but when pressed conceded she would likely apply.

"I've had so many things going on that I haven't actually had a chance to sit down and go through it.

Most likely I will [apply], given that I applied for it last year."

The former Australian international has been busy preparing the Southland side for its national championship campaign.

The Southlanders finished sixth last year and hope to do at least as well this year.

Steel coach Robyn Broughton signed Avellino for the Sting in 2006 and the pair have an established record working together.

That connection could prove valuable for Avellino if she does decide to apply for the position.

Steel chief executive Julie Paterson said applications close on September 19 and the franchise hopes to make an appointment by mid-October.

The Steel is also looking for a new manager, with Debbie Hodges deciding she could not commit for another season.

The franchise re-signed Silver Ferns shooter Daneka Wipiiti last week and is busy getting next season's roster together.

The Steel has until October 1 to name an initial squad.

"I'd like to firm up our team within the next couple of weeks," Paterson said.


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