PENINSULA Waves have appointed Claire Houben as their championship coach for next season.
Houben takes over from Robynn Pym, who stood down after guiding the Waves to their first top-flight Victorian Netball League finals series last season.
Houben coached the Waves’ division 1 team last season and has more than 25 years’ experience in coaching, with stints at association, region, state league and state levels.
Before coaching at the Waves, Houben coached Wangaratta in the Ovens and Murray League and the league under-17 representative team.
“I’m really looking forward to next season, to be honest,” she said. “We have a lot of depth at Waves now and we had a very good season.”
The Waves are expected to have a similar team, with the club deep in negotiations with import Mwai Kumwenda to return for a third year.
Emma and Kellie Somerville are weighing up their futures and are yet to commit to the club for next season.
“My goal is to definitely build on where Robynn left off — it’s unfortunate that she had to leave,” Houben said.
“I will have the same championship assistants [Steve Murray and Meagan Dell], so it should all be similar.
“I think the Somervilles struggled a bit with the travel and their study commitments.”
The Waves kicked off their selection trials on Sunday and the championship, division 1 and under-19 teams will be chosen over the next fortnight. “After today I should have a better idea of what the teams will be like,” Houben said.
“The main group should be there again.”
The Waves also announced Maxine Wauchope would be continuing in her role as Waves’ head coach, overseeing the entire coaching structure and providing mentoring and guidance when required.
Fitness coach Nathan Bonney has also been signed up for a second season after impressing in his first year in the job.
The Waves’ division 1 team will be co-coached by Jessica Whitfort, who coached the division 1 team in 2011 to its first finals appearance before having a season off in 2012.
Her coaching partner is yet to be announced but former South Australian player Wendy Frost has agreed to a part-time specialist coaching role with the division 1 team.
The under-19 team will again be coached by Shelley Haynes, with Kaye Tomlinson to be a specialist coach for next season.