Sunshine Coast Lightning can today confirm that Ashlee Unie has not been offered a senior contract for the 2022 season.
Unie will remain part of the Lightning family and the Club will continue to support her rehabilitation program, as well as her potential return to the SSN court.
The foundation Lightning Training Partner has been part of the Club in four of the five years and has forged a reputation as a talented emerging defender.
Head Coach Kylee Byrne said the difficult decision needed to be made due to team balance.
“Ash has made such an incredible contribution to our Club over the years, and we absolutely will wrap our arms around her and do what we can to help her with her future ambitions,” Byrne said.
“What she has contributed to our Club and to our Lightning family of Members and fans has been incredible, especially her dedication to her community work this season, while rehabilitating an ACL injury.
“We’re committed to working with Ash on her return to fitness and her career development, both in netball and her work as a physiotherapist.”
Unie was named Community Champion this season for going above and beyond in the Sunshine Coast community, including involvement in the Confident Girls Foundation program and being the player representative on the Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group, in addition to a range of other community and association visits.
Unie made her SSN debut for Lightning in Round 3 of 2020 against Melbourne Vixens and took to the court on three occasions last season, as part of the extended squad allowance due to the Queensland hub format.
She was then elevated to the senior squad in 2021, before sustaining a season-ending ACL injury during a pre-season match.
Lightning would like to thank Unie for her contributions to the Club so far and wish her luck with her ongoing injury rehabilitation.