Continuing to build on an impressive resume, Pelesa Semu has been appointed Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse assistant coach for next year’s ANZ premiership netball season.
Guiding Central Manawa to back-to-back titles in the Beko Netball League over the last two seasons, Semu takes over the role from Sandra Edge, who is stepping aside but will remain on as a midcourt specialist coach.
``This is exciting and a real privilege,’’ Semu said ``I have a great passion for netball, especially in our Zone and I hope to bring that same passion to the Pulse 2020 campaign.’’
An experienced and highly successful coach for 10 years at school, club, age-group and NPC level, the former Capital Shakers captain and Samoa international has had a birds-eye view of what to expect after experiencing the close association the Pulse and Manawa have shared during her time.
``The Beko competition is a great platform for players in preparing them for the high performance environment and ensuring a seamless transition to ANZ level, and I believe this is the same for coaches too,’’ she said.
``The Beko programme here at Netball Central Zone has been successful because of the close association with the Pulse programme. Being able to be in an environment to observe the Pulse players, and especially the way the coaching staff and management work together with the players has given me a great insight into what to expect.’’
The main difference to what Semu has been used to will be the calibre of athlete and daily training environment.
`` It is definitely an exciting challenge and I am looking forward to working with Yvette (McCausland-Durie, coach) and the players who have set a strong benchmark in what they have created in the last three years,’’ she said.
`` Yvette was a big factor for me and being able to observe her, Sandra and Katrina (Rore, captain) together with the players’ leadership group in what they have created and being successful at, I am looking forward to being a part of the next journey.’’
Semu will retain her role as Zone Performance Manager where she is responsible for the delivery of programmes for New Zealand secondary school players as well as talent identification and development while also supporting the Centres and their work with age-group programmes.
Being able to promote their own coaches from within the Central Zone is a real positive for McCausland-Durie, who believes Semu is more than ready for the job at hand.
``I think it’s going to be great,’’ she said. ``Having had those two years at Beko level and all those previous years at various other levels as well as being involved as Performance Manager means she’s been with the Pulse in terms of our management meetings for the last three years so is very aware of our systems.’’
Semu is likely to have a focus on the defensive end meaning a shift in roles for the head coach.
``I’ll move down to the attacking end which is a good opportunity for me to learn and continue to develop and evolve as a coach and it allows Pelesa to work in an area of her strength in her first year,’’ McCausland-Durie said.