28 Jul 2011

Aitken set to remain at Silver Ferns coach?

7:34 am on 28 July 2011

Ruth Aitken appears set to stay on as Silver Ferns coach with captain Casey Williams' withdrawal from the remainder of the international season revealing her hand.

Aitken has been national coach since 2001 and her current contract expires at the end of September.

With Casey Williams announcing she'll miss the Tests against England and Australia in September to undergo ankle surgery, a Netball New Zealand statement said Aitken will announce a replacement during September's training camp.

That indicates Aitken will still be in charge, for if she was to step down it'd be inappropriate to select a replacement captain when she wasn't going to be in the role of Silver Ferns coach.

So it would seem she intends remaining in the role although Netball New Zealand says Aitken is unavailable for comment.

Following the Silver Ferns' loss to Australia in the final of the world champs earlier this month Aitken said she wanted time to reflect on her future.

The former Silver Ferns coach Yvonne Willering suggested at the time that if Aitken was to stand down now was the time to do it, as it would give assistant caoch Wai Taumanu a good lead in period to the next major tournament the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Meanwhile Williams says the surgery is to clear out bone fragments and fluid around her ankle and is likely to keep her out of the game for up to eight weeks.