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Sharks eyed as team to reignite Rob Beveridge's passion

Rob Beveridge says his love of coaching had dried up when he finished up with the Illawarra Hawks at the end of the 2018/19 Australian National Basketball League.

After coaching professionally for 27 years, and with over 300 games as a coach in the Australian NBL, Beveridge felt like he had had enough.

"My last two years coaching in the Australian National League, I almost lost the love of the game, I lost the passion. It's ground-hog day, you get burnt out."

However, after a four-month break, the former Australian Boomers assistant coach circled Invercargill, New Zealand as a unique place to help find the love of coaching again.

He received a phone call from Judd Flavell who had given up his post as the Southland Sharks coach in the New Zealand NBL.

The Sharks had became somewhat of Flavell's baby, he wanted a like-minded person to replace him and reached out to Beveridge.

The seed was sewn and Beveridge quickly established that Southland ticked the right boxes.

He made phone calls to his fellow countrymen and former Sharks players, Jarrad Weeks, Nick Kay, Mitch Norton, and Todd Blanchfield, to get a gauge as to what Southland was all about.

The endorsements were glowing, Beveridge said.

"Once I spoke with [Sharks general manager Jill Bolger], it was easy, this is what I am about as a coach," he said about the Sharks.

Beveridge loves coaching regional teams and the fact the New Zealand league was a condensed competition added to the appeal.

"It's four months rather than eight-nine months where you are working seven days a week."

Beveridge will move to Invercargill in March for the April start to the 2020 NBL season.

Although he visited the city this week to meet with key Sharks stakeholders and get a tour around ILT Stadium Southland where the Sharks train and play.

"I'm overwhelmed with the facilities. I've met dozens of people, they are incredibly friendly and open and want to be helpful.

"It's inspiring to come here and to see what terrific facilities there is and how friendly everyone is."

Beveridge's time in Invercargill this week was actually his second stop in the city after he visited in 2004 when he was an assistant coach of the Australian Boomers team.

The Boomers beat the Tall Blacks 90-79 at the ILT Stadium Southland venue which has since been rebuilt.

Beveridge took part in a Q&A session with Sharks stakeholders on Tuesday and was also on hand for the Southland Basketball Association's mini-ball prize-giving after finals were played at ILT Stadium Southland on Tuesday night.

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