Allen Itching To Be Back Out On Court

“I want this.”

A stint on the sidelines in 2020 has reignited Sienna Allen’s passion and drive to play netball at the elite level and break into the Sunshine Coast Lightning senior squad.

In a year where the next generation of netball talent benefited from the extended squad allowance, an ill-timed foot injury instead restricted Allen to the stands.

The 21-year-old supportively watched on as each of her fellow Lightning Training Partners earned their Suncorp Super Netball debut.

Meanwhile, younger sister Nyah Allen was making a name for herself in the Collingwood SN extended squad. 

Instead of wallowing, Sienna made a promise to herself to use her time productively and enter 2021 better educated and more determined than ever.

“I know my goals, I have that internal motivation to keep me working hard,” Allen said. 

“Initially it might take a little while for my mind to connect with my foot again and we will gradually increase the complexity of my training and match play, but I truly believe I’m better placed in my netball education.”

Allen’s commitment did not faulter throughout the season.

While not able to physically practice each manoeuvre at training or experience the intensity of playing at SSN level, she was there at each stage to listen and learn.

2021 provides a clean slate for the circle defender. On return from Christmas break she has been given permission to increase the load on her foot in the next stage of her injury rehabilitation.

With an eye to play in the Queensland Sapphire Series League and Australian Netball Championships, her immediate focus is on learning to trust her body again and to be back out on court with the team.

“I’m excited to get back on court, back training and we’ll then build from there,” she said.

As Allen enters her third season as a Club Training Partner, she admits to already have benefited so much from the program and is excited for what’s in store next year.

“Lightning has opened my eyes to how you go about being an elite athlete and how you go about being a good person – Lightning focuses on the person first rather than you just being a number,” she said.

“The environment is like a family.

“Everyone is there for each other rather than themselves and they will pass on that feedback and give up their time to help the young players coming through – not everywhere has that.”

Allen is joined by Binnian Hunt and Annabelle Lawrie as returning Training Partners in 2021, with further announcements to be made in the new year.