NEW Merrivale co-coach Claire Wines was ready to spend 12 months away from netball.
Now the former Nirranda goal defender is excited about her first Warrnambool and District senior coaching role.
Wines has teamed up with ex-Blues coach Raewyn Poumako at Merrivale.
The pair will tackle the Tigers’ coaching job together, replacing reigning premiership leader Danielle McInerney.
Wines, 29, will play and Poumako has signed on as a non-playing coach.
“I was stuck in a rut with netball and starting to get sick of it,” Wines said.
“So I thought about a change and a new challenge.
“A lot of people had to talk me into doing it so it wasn’t a quick decision.”
Wines is a life member at Nirranda and said she was on good terms with her former club.
“I felt terrible leaving Nirranda because I rated it but I needed a change,” she said. “I wasn’t going to play at all. I was going to have a season off.
“I’ve gone from a season off to coaching.”
Wines said having Poumako’s leadership experience would help her develop her coaching repertoire.
She said the Tigers’ players would also benefit from having on and off court perspectives.
“Raewyn found it a bit of a challenge the last couple of years, making all of the decisions when on court,” Wines said.
“It’s easier when there is someone off court.
“I am hoping to do fitness and she will do court play.”
Wines said along with McInerney, the Tigers would be without Monique Sefton this season.
Sefton, who is in the police academy, was named best on court in Merrivale’s 2012 grand final win against Dennington. “There will only be three or four from last year’s A grade team but Raewyn and I are hoping to recruit a few players,” Wines said.
Poumako, who turns 39 next month, said she was excited about a new coaching challenge.
“It is completely different to where I am from, from where I live,” she said.
“I know a couple of girls there and I’d like to work with them.”
Poumako said she too left Nirranda with fond memories.
She said time commitments meant joint coaches was the best approach for Merrivale.
“There will be times when I can’t be there so I was planning on having a year off because I couldn’t fully commit to it,” Poumako said.
“So we figured doing it together covered all bases.”
Poumako returned to the south-west four years ago following an 11-year stint in Alice Springs, where she was heavily involved in netball as a player, coach and selector.
She spent four seasons at Nirranda, although she had time off to have a baby, and coached the Blues for the past two seasons.
Poumako is coaching Timboon Night in the Western Regional State League series, with Wines on the playing list.