Splice Construction Magic coach Amigene Metcalfe has opted not to renew her coaching contract with the ANZ Premiership team she holds close to her heart.

The Magic stalwart has announced her decision to step down from the role she has held for three years with her choice to take a break from the sport which has been a major part of her life since the late 90s.

The former Magic midcourter has been in charge of the ANZ Premiership team for three years since taking over the reins from the late Margaret Forsyth in 2019. She guided the side through last year’s challenging COVID-19 disrupted season but has decided not to extend her contract beyond the 2021 season.

“I believe it’s time for me to take a step away from netball for a while. I have had such a close connection to this extended family that I call the Magic and it wasn’t an easy decision to make,” she said.

“But I’m excited to see what life away from the netball court will look like and I’m looking forward to new challenges ahead, whatever they may be.”

Metcalfe, who will forever be part of the franchise’s history as Magic player #1, said she would miss the players and management and the special moments they shared both on and off the court.

“The results haven’t gone our way this year but I can’t speak highly enough of the team we have in place at the Magic. The girls have been fantastic and an amazing bunch to work with – that connection will be something that I will forever treasure.”

Magic General Manager Gary Dawson said Metcalfe had played an integral role in building an outstanding culture at the club, and she would be missed.

“Amigene has shown an incredible loyalty to the Waikato and to the Magic over the years and we thank her for her stewardship of the Magic in the ANZ Premiership,” he said.

“She has an ability to bring together a group of athletes and make them a team who want to give their all in the Magic dress. Even though Amigene is stepping away from netball I hope she will come back at some time in the future because she has a huge amount to offer the sport.”

The former Silver Fern was the Magic’s first ever signing in 1999 and despite stepping off the playing court in 2008, she has continued her strong links with the Waikato region and the sport by taking on coaching roles as various levels.

She made the step into the ANZ Premiership coaching ranks in 2017 when assisting Forsyth at the Magic, before tackling the head coaching role two years later.

Dawson said the Magic had already started the process to recruit a coach for the 2022 ANZ Premiership and they hoped to name a replacement as soon as possible.

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