Clawed coach stands off side to give new blood the reigns
BARB Ahmat says the time is right to bow out as coach of the Rockhampton Leagues Club Capricorn Claws.
After six years at the helm and with the Claws on the verge of claiming their maiden state netball league championship, she has selflessly resigned to allow another coach to enjoy the wonderful opportunity.
She says she is comfortable with her decision, given the team is in such a healthy position on-court, sponsorship is secured and spectator support is at an all-time high. "Everything is in place now so it is probably one of the best times to transition the coaching position," Ahmat said.
"This is one of the few high-development coaching opportunities in the region. I am a big believer in succession planning and I don't believe in denying anyone else this opportunity.
"It is good to retire on a high point."
Ahmat had, for the past few years, said if someone else wanted the position, she would stand aside.
She clearly relished the role and knows she will miss it, as well as everyone involved with the team.
Appointed coach in 2009, she helped mould the Claws into one of the most competitive and respected teams in the Mission Queensland State Netball League.
She guided them to the league grand final in 2010 and the preliminary finals in 2013 and 2014.
That the Claws are the only regional team to have made the grand final is something Ahmat lists among her coaching highlights.
But her greatest thrill was seeing players improve, doing something better than they've done it before.
Ahmat says a league victory is just around the corner for the Claws.
"These players are amazingly committed and that's really the key," she said. "With the emerging talent we have now, it's just a matter of time."
Ahmat will maintain her involvement with netball, coaching and helping develop young talent, and following closely the fortunes of her beloved Claws.
"I've got a Claws supporter shirt and I intend on wearing it," she said.
"It has been absolutely brilliant. I'm just glad to have been a part of it."
Nominations are now being called for the coaching position.