Magic appoint new coach after challenging season

The Magic were thumped in their final game of the regular season this week. Photo. Michael Bradley Photography.

Mary-Jane Araroa has been appointed as the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic’s new head coach for the 2022 ANZ Premiership.

Araroa steps up from her role as assistant coach, replacing Amigene Metcalfe, who is stepping down at the end of the season after three years in the role.

The new head coach has signed a two-year agreement with the Magic, who have endured a tough 2021 campaign.

The Magic won their opening game of the season against the Northern Mystic but went on to lose all 14 of the games they have played since, including a crushing 65-46 loss to the Northern Stars on Monday, finishing adrift at the bottom of the 2021 ladder.

Araroa has a resume which includes roles as head coach for the New Zealand Secondary Schools team, New Zealand’s Silver Ferns Fast5 assistant coach and head coach of Waikato-BOP’s National Netball League team in 2018 and 2020.

She is no stranger to a head coach role, having guided the former Northern Force franchise in the old domestic league in 1998 and taking Bay of Plenty to the top of the second division in and third in Division One of the National Championships in 2012.

As a player, she gained representative honours for Auckland, North Harbour and the Northern Force before going on to represent New Zealand A in 1994 and the Silver Ferns squad from 1996-1997.

Araroa is excited to take the next step with the Magic team.

“This region is special to me and I’m really looking forward to continue the work with the Magic going into the 2022 ANZ Premiership,” she says.

“Over the past three years I have seen the growth from many of our athletes and I’m excited about how the Magic can move forward and what this opportunity brings.”

Magic general manager Gary Dawson says they’re delighted to have secured the services of Araroa, who brings plenty of netball nous to the role.

“Mary-Jane brings a strong coaching pedigree to the Magic and has made her mark with a number of coaching positions.  She will now be able to build on that success here,” he says.

“She comes from our region and has an in-depth knowledge of players, a strong technical and tactical knowledge of the game and just an all-round passion to see the Magic perform.

“That drive will be important as we look to re-build after a challenging season and we’re excited about what Mary-Jane brings to the head coach position.”

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