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Assistant Coach Appointed for Southern Steel - November 3, 2016

Lauren Piebenga has been appointed assistant coach of the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel for the 2017 season.

The former head coach of the South Development team that won the inaugural Beko Netball League in 2016 is excited to be working with Southern Steel head coach Reinga Bloxham.

“Reinga and I have worked together as part of the Netball New Zealand High Performance Coach Development Group throughout the year which has given us a great opportunity to get to know each other,” she said.

“I think we will complement each other and together make a dynamic team.”

Netball South chief executive Lana Winders said it was great to see talented local coaches like Piebenga successfully compete for these highly sought after elite netball coaching roles.

“Lauren has deservingly earned this position after building years of experience as coach of both Centre and Zone based representative sides, coupled with her considerable investment in her own professional development," Winders said.

“I have been impressed with how much Lauren can pack into a netball season. Up until this year she has coached three netball teams at school, club and Zone (South Development) levels while also participating in multiple coach development opportunities. It speaks volumes about her incredible organisational skills but also the amazing support she has from home and from Columba College, her place of work.”

Piebenga credits her time as the Beko head coach and the exposure she got to the Steel environment as fuel for her appetite to become a professional coach.

“Winning the Beko National title in 2016 gave me the confidence to continue my pathway as a netball coach, while having exposure to the High Performance netball environment and the opportunity to work alongside Reinga and see Noeline in action was inspirational."

Piebenga joins Bloxham at the helm of the Southern Steel as it competes in the recently launched ANZ Premiership Netball League which runs from the end of March until July. Steel host seven round robin home games; five at ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill and two at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin. And Piebenga predicts another exciting season for Steel.

“The Steel has got what it takes to go all the way in 2017. The calibre of players we have on the roster is really impressive and it’s going to be exciting to see how we can build on the exceptional gains the team made in 2016," she said.

"I am really looking forward to being able to focus solely on netball as my profession opposed to managing netball along with work commitments."

Existing Steel members can now renew their seats until 25 November, while new memberships go on sale from I December 2016. Winders has an important tip for Steel fans planning to get to Dunedin games next year.

“Hundreds of people missed out on seeing the Steel in action in Dunedin in 2016 as both games were sell outs several days before the games. We highly recommend taking advantage of the discounted seat pricing offered as part of our VIP membership package to guarantee your seat in 2017."


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