|ANZ Championship team|
|Based in||Wellington, New Zealand|
Central North Island
|Main venue||TSB Bank Arena|
|Head coach||Yvette McCausland-Durie (2009–11)
Robyn Broughton (from 2012)
The Central Pulse are a New Zealand netball team based in Wellington that compete in the trans-Tasman ANZ Championship. The Pulse represent several New Zealand regions in the North and South Islands, from East Cape in the north to Tasman and Marlborough in the south, and were formed as an amalgamation of the Western Flyers and Capital Shakers teams from the National Bank Cup (NBC).
During the 2012 season the Pulse was coached by Robyn Broughton, former head coach of the Southern Sting in the NBC and the Southern Steel in the ANZ Championship. Broughton replaced Yvette McCausland-Durie, who joined the Pulse in 2009. Silver Ferns defender Katrina Grant has captained the Pulse since 2010. Home games are usually played at TSB Arena in Wellington, although some games are played in Napier, Palmerston North and Porirua. The team uniform is primarily yellow, in line with the Wellington-based Hurricanes rugby union team who play in the Super 15.
The Central Pulse have struggled since the inception of the ANZ Championship. After their first three seasons the team had only won two matches, finishing in the bottom two placings of the competition each time. The Pulse have gradually improved finishing 8th overall in 2011, 7th in 2012 and their best performance of 5th, missing out on a finals birth only by percentage against New Zealand rivals the Waikato/BOP Magic..
The ANZ Championship, founded in 2007 as a new elite domestic netball competition in New Zealand and Australia, replaced the National Bank Cup in New Zealand and the Commonwealth Bank Trophy in Australia, which both played their final season in 2007. When the new trans-Tasman competition was announced, it was reported to feature five teams from each country. Five New Zealand franchises were formed from amalgamations of National Bank Cup teams to compete in the new ANZ Championship. A franchise based in Wellington was proposed early in the selection process. The five New Zealand franchises were finalised and approved in May 2007, including one representing an amalgamation of the Capital Shakers and Western Flyers from the National Bank Cup; the previously unaffiliated Tasman region was added to the franchise catchment area.
Singapore national coach Kate Carpenter was appointed head coach of the new central New Zealand franchise in September 2007. The franchise announced the name of their team on 8 November as the "Central Pulse". On 30 January 2008, automotive company Suzuki New Zealand was named as the major sponsor for the Pulse, who became the "Suzuki Central Pulse".
Inaugural season, 2008
Player selections for New Zealand franchises in the inaugural season were delayed due to ongoing negotiations between the New Zealand Players Association and Netball New Zealand. The negotiations prevented New Zealand franchises from signing players, and were not settled until 22 December. Nevertheless, England defender Sonia Mkoloma was one of the first players to be named for the 2008 Pulse squad, before the player agreement was signed. The full squad for the 2008 season was announced on 4 February 2008, one which did not feature any Silver Ferns, and with Mkoloma as their only international player.
The Central Pulse played the inaugural match of the ANZ Championship at home on 4 April, losing to the Melbourne Vixens 33–50. During 14 weeks of round-robin matches, the Pulse failed to win a single game, with a 0–12 win-loss record and a lone point from a draw against the West Coast Fever.
Following a winless inaugural season and a year full of financial hardship for the Central Pulse franchise, the franchise board was reconstructed and as a result Kate Carpenter was replaced as coach by Yvette McCausland-Durie, who also coaches the New Zealand national U21 squad. The loss of their major sponsor resulted in the Pulse being financially bailed out by Netball New Zealand, who announced that the struggling Wellington-based franchised will be financially secure until at least the end of the 2010 season.
The Pulse delayed naming their team for the 2009 season, incurring a fine of up to NZ$3000; the line-up was eventually released on 22 December 2008. The new roster contained five of the twelve players from the 2008 season. The Pulse also gained Silver Fern Paula Griffin and Jamaican defender Althea Byfield, but lost Mkoloma to the Canterbury Tactix. Players from the New Zealand U21 squad made up the bulk of the new signings. The 2009 season saw the Pulse continued to struggle in the ANZ Championship. Their first ever competition win came in round 13 against the New South Wales Swifts in Porirua. Nevertheless, the Pulse finished the 2009 season at the bottom of the ladder, with a 1–12 win-loss record.
After the 2009 season concluded, ANZ Championship officials announced new rules aimed at assisting teams who finish in the bottom two placings of the competition for two consecutive seasons. Having won only one match in two years, the Pulse were the only team to qualify for this assistance. It included an allowance of two import players and a $25,000 grant to use at the franchise's discretion, including player salaries additional to the $NZ300,000 salary cap. The Pulse were able to contract two import players: Ama Agbeze from England and Jane Altschwager from Australia. Silver Ferns goal keeper Katrina Grant also joined the Pulse from the Southern Steel, but Byfield moved north to the Northern Mystics. Once again, the Pulse continued to struggle in 2010. They secured one win against the Canterbury Tactix, and managed to finish in 9th place.
2011 saw a strengthened line-up, with the addition of unwanted Melbourne Vixens shooter Caitlin Thwaites, at the expense of Paula Griffin. They retained stars Katrina Grant and Camilla Lees, and also signed promising young Auckland shooter Jade Topia. Unfortunately Topia was unable to take part in the season due to a back injury, and the goal attack position remained a problem throughout the season. Regardless, the Pulse had their most successful season yet, winning three games, more than they had won in the first three seasons combined, finishing in 8th place. Their most famous win came against the West Coast Fever who they beat in overtime, after suffering many overtime losses in the previous seasons.
2012 saw the retention off the big name players, as well as the addition of Silver Fern Joline Henry, and Accelerant squad member Te Huinga Reo Selby-Ricket. They also welcomed back Paula Griffin after a year with the Southern Steel. In a big coup, they also signed former Steel coach Robyn Broughten, one of the most successful coaches in NZ. The team won 5 games, most impressive was a win against eventual finalists the Adelaide Thunderbirds. They also came close to winning their first game in Australia, but went down in a close loss against the Fever. They finished in 7th position, their best yet, but below where many pundits predicted.
2013 has seen many big signings for the Pulse, the most talked about being ex-silver fern and Southern Steel shooter, Donna Wilkins, and also signed Liana Leota who had taken a year off competitive netball. Other big names were retained, along with Broughten, leaving the Pulse with their most balanced and competitive team yet.
2013 Central Pulse roster
|Player profiles: Team website • ANZC website||Last updated: 06 December 2012|
- 2008: 10th of 10
- 2009: 10th of 10
- 2010: 9th of 10
- 2011: 8th of 10
- 2012: 7th of 10
- 2013: 5th of 10
The Pulse play their most of their home games at TSB Bank Arena in Wellington, which has a maximum capacity of 3,635 for netball games. In 2008, home games were also played at Arena Manawatu in Palmerston North and Pettigrew Green Arena in Napier, which have maximum seating capacities of 5,000 and 2,320, respectively. From 2009, several games have also been held at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua, which has a maximum capacity of 2,000 for sporting events.
- Bull, Alastair (2007-03-12). "Ten-team trans-Tasman netball league revealed". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- NZPA (2007-05-09). "Nod to all five Tasman Trophy bids". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- "Pulse Newsfeed: Now is the time to check "The Pulse"". 2007-11-08. Retrieved 2009-02-28.[dead link]
- Kayes, Jim (2008-01-30). "Pulse name new chief, sponsor". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
- NZ City, NewstalkZB (2008-12-12). "Waiting game continues for Tasman comp". NZ City. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
- "Netball Agreement Finalised For ANZ Championship" (Press release). Netball New Zealand. 2007-12-22. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
- Jensen, Anna (2007-11-22). "England netball defender sets Pulse racing". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
- Jensen, Anna (2008-02-05). "Pulse confirm trophy lineup". Nelson Mail. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
- Jensen, Anna (2008-01-16). "Central Pulse fail to attract Silver Ferns". Waikato Times. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
- Gilhooly, Daniel (2008-11-06). "Pulse face player overhaul as coach let go". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
- NZPA (2008-12-01). "Pulse name new coach". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
- Johannsen, Dana (2008-11-07). "Central Pulse secure until 2010 despite bailout". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
- Johannsen, Dana (2008-12-02). "Pulse cop fine after missing deadline". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
- NZPA (2008-12-22). "Pulse name new squad". 3 News. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
- Miles, Penny (2009-07-30). "Lifeline for lowly Pulse stuns rivals". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
- TSB Bank Arena: Sports. Retrieved on 2009-02-28.
- Arena Manawatu: Arena 2. Retrieved on 2009-02-28.
- Pettigrew Green Arena: Sports. Retrieved on 2009-02-28.
- Te Rauparaha Arena: Capacities. Retrieved on 2008-02-28.