The Auckland War Memorial Museum is hosting the second year of the New Zealand Netball Awards and will announce the best coach of the year, people's choice and player of the year awards.
Last year Netball New Zealand announced Kayla Cullen of Ngāpuhi for the people's choice award, and Laura Langman of Ngāti Pāoa for the player of the year. But Langman believes there could possibly be another star on the rise. We spoke to her earlier today regarding her achievements this year and what she hopes to see in her new journey back to Australia.
One of the most capped midcourters in Silver Ferns history says tonight feels like a closure as she takes on a new role with the Queensland-based franchise Lightning.
“Essentially it's a blank canvas and not very often do you get to enter a team where they got no history and you have the opportunity to establish and start the legacy,” says Langman.
Langman is the only Silver Fern competing in the new Australian competition next year. Her transfer means she cannot represent the Ferns under a new Netball New Zealand rule. She believes the rule should eventually change.
“As much as I love it to change I understand and I respect it and I think for me in terms of building my game my decision playing for sunny was best for me at this point of time.”
After receiving player of the year in 2015, she hopes an emerging player in the Silver Ferns will be tipped for stardom.
“This year I was hugely impressed by Te Paea and how she slotted into that goal attack role and I can't wait to see her grow over the next four years heading into pivotal events. I think you can't go past Maria. She's a big time player and keep us in the game and I think she's very well deserving as well.”
However, Te Paea Selby-Rickit shied away from the idea and wishes Langman well on her new journey.
“It's great to hear her say that. She's a legend and I was really intimidated by her when I was younger,” says Selby-Rickit.
Selby-Rickit also mentioned that her Southern Steel coach Noeline Taurua deserves the coach of the year award, as she awaits her big move to Australia alongside Langman and to take on the Sunshine Coast Lightning team in their new Australian competition.