25 Mar 2016

Pulse may consider van Dyk as injury replacement

5:42 am on 25 March 2016

The Central Pulse netball coach Tanya Dearns hasn't discounted the possibility of approaching former international Irene van Dyk to fill the gap in her roster left by Jodi Brown.

Irene van Dyk 2014

Irene van Dyk 2014 Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Brown, the former Silver Ferns shooter, has announced her retirement after rupturing knee ligaments at a pre-seaon tournament in Sydney last weekend.

The new trans-Tasman competition starts next week and Dearns is going through a list of non-contracted players to look for a replacement.

The 43-year-old van Dyk had an indifferent season at the Pulse last year.

Dearns said picking up van Dyk had its issues.

"She (van Dyk) would be on the top of anyone's list wouldn't she, but Irene is now in full time employement for our netball zones, so there would be issues there that would be taking her away from her full time employement and that's a conversation that we haven't had yet," Dearns said.

Brown's worst fears were realised this week with confirmation of a ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament in her right knee.

The damage did not finish there - Brown also sustained a grade two tear of the Medial Cruciate Ligament.

"Being gutted doesn't even come close to how I'm feeling right now,'' Brown said.

"In Sydney, it felt everything was just starting to fall into place with the team. There was so much to look forward to this season, it was exciting and that's what I'm so angry about.''

Silver Ferns shooter Jodi Brown

Former Silver Ferns shooter Jodi Brown Photo: PHOTOSPORT

In a fateful twist, a similar injury to her left knee ruled Brown out of the Silver Ferns netball programme on the eve of the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games almost 10 years ago to the day.

This time there will be no comeback.

"This was going to be my last year, anyway,'' she said.

"I know what it takes to be at this level and it will take nine months to rehab my knee and then to start my fitness from scratch again, at this stage of my career, is just a bridge too far.''

Brown had stints with Mainland Tactix, Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, Southern Steel and Pulse at ANZ Championship level.

With Brown having high hopes for the new-look 2016 edition of the Pulse, the absence of the popular senior pro now leaves a gaping hole just days out from the start of the season.

"Jodi was a huge part of what we were trying to achieve this year and it's devastating news,'' Pulse coach Dearns said.

"I'm devastated for her to be finishing her netball career with that type of injury. I will miss the input she has on court and the influence she has on those around her.''

The injury has continued the Pulse's run of bad luck after they lost up-and-coming midcourter Whitney Souness to a similarly serious knee injury last October which also ruled her out for the season.

Last year Brown called time on her 61-test international career, 13 years after it had started.