Midcourter Kelsey Browne has today announced she will hang up the netball bib at Sunshine Coast Lightning, returning to Melbourne to be closer to family and friends.
The Lightning foundation player has taken up a post at Collingwood Magpies.
Browne said she was looking forward to spending quality time with her parents and grandparents as well as other close family and friends away from the court.
“Leaving Lightning was probably one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make,” Browne said.
“While I’ve loved every minute of my time on the Sunshine Coast, I’ve missed my family immensely over the last two years.
“I think it’s time I get back home and be with my loved ones.
“I’m really looking forward to being able to drive an hour down the road to see Mum and Dad on a Sunday night for a home-cooked meal.”
Browne said in farewelling the Club and Sunshine Coast community, it was the people she would miss the most.
“There has always been a big emphasis on people at Lightning, and the community up there, the fans and the people who took me in as their family are a massive part of why I love the Club.
“I’ve never met a community that’s gotten behind a sporting team so much and to see all that love and support at every single game or when walking down the street is just incredible.
“Sunny Coast will always hold a special place in my heart and I feel so lucky to have been a part of the inaugural two years at Lightning.
“I know the Coast community will continue to get behind Lightning and that’s something that’s really special.”
Lightning Acting Head Coach Kylee Byrne said the Club was sad to farewell Browne but knew she would shine on the international and national stage.
“Kelsey played a huge role in establishing this Club as a foundation member and the support for her from the Sunshine Coast community has been huge,” Byrne said.
“She came to us with limited quarters under her belt and has developed into a two-time premiership winning player.
“Watching her development over her time with us has been phenomenal and it will certainly be a tough contest when we come up against her next year.
“We will be watching, like every other Diamonds fan, with absolute excitement when she takes the court for the first time in international competition in September.
“She is taking great form into the Quad Series and Constellation Cup and hopefully the 2018 form we witnessed will carry over to the international court.”
Sunshine Coast Lightning has recently added new players to its squad and expects to formally announce another signing later this week.