The Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic have finalised several contracts for 2011, re-signing coach Noeline Taurua and Silver Ferns Irene van Dyk, Casey Williams and Laura Langman. Ingrid Tiriana talks to Taurua about the coming season.
Noeline Taurua doesn't like losing and there's an element of unfinished business in her signing up for another two years as coach of Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic.
Rotorua-based Taurua, whose side were beaten by Australia's Thunderbirds in this year's ANZ Championship final, says she never quite gets over a loss like that and will carry it with her into next year as she seeks another crack at the title.
"I hate losing, it's hard to get over it and that feeling won't go away until we actually win it. Having spoken to the players and reviewed things, I feel we're not too far away," she told the Bay of Plenty Times.
Taurua has guided Magic to the top four in all three ANZ Championship play-offs to date, including the grand finals in 2008 and this year, finishing runner-up both times.
The 2010 season final loss was a big consideration in deciding whether to re-sign with the Magic franchise. She wouldn't have considered coaching for anyone else but needed to figure out if she still had something more to offer Magic. She asked herself why the team had lost, if she'd been around too long, questioned what she didn't do and what she could have done better, talked to players, team management and mentors. She decided she still has something to offer but as has been the case every year, family had to be considered and consulted.
With partner Ed Goldsmith on board, she consulted her eldest children, 17-year-old Ania and eight-year-old Pia. They weren't exactly supportive at first but after a couple of weeks mulling it over, they gave Taurua their blessing although she admits there may have been some bribery involved.
"With five kids their wants and needs change every year and the commitment required from me at ANZ champs level is quite intense and means I'm away a lot. It puts a lot of pressure on Ed and the kids go through different stages, they sometimes want their mother and I'm not there ... if they weren't happy I wouldn't have done it."
Taurua's reappointment received unanimous support from the Magic franchise board.
"Noeline put a huge effort in this season and we are delighted that she wants to keep the momentum going," Magic chief executive Sheryl Dawson said. "Noeline's planning and attention to detail with the players has been first-rate throughout the  season. She is an outstanding coach and she is the best person for the job."
Taurua re-signed with an option to review after the 2011 season and contract signed, she has already switched her focus to next year's competition, a prospect which has her feeling "really positive and really excited".
"There are definitely areas where I know I can improve and slight tweaks we can make which I know will make a difference ... we've made huge improvements as a team in the past few seasons, there's just some tweaking to do and it's more around the planning, to ensure we're firing. On court there's still lots to do regarding strategies, keeping on top of the opposition, the intensity and the quality of trainings and really looking at putting ourselves under pressure more."
The finer details for 2011 have yet to be worked out but the overall plan for next season is already a work in progress. Once the draw is confirmed, Taurua and her team will work through the training schedule and start looking at the finer details.
"I'm already excited about next season. I think we're getting closer and I know what improvements need to be made and feel I can deliver on that.
"There's no reason we can't be in the final again in 2011. We've always had that potential. Having said that, we can talk about it all we like, it's about putting it out there. We're there to win - we just need to put those words into action."