Byrne: What to Expect From Lightning 2021

Head Coach Kylee Byrne casts her eye over the entire playing squad to review their pre-season and predict what lies ahead.

Shooters:

Steph Wood:

Steph will be someone to watch grow with each game this year. She’s only really hitting her straps now after a disrupted pre-season and will build through the year. Her experience will shine though in times when we need it. Expect higher percentage shooting across the full 15 minutes and her ability to open our two GS will be a feature to watch.

Cara Koenen:

Her pre-season peaked with her debut and Player of the Match accolades for the Diamonds in March. Doing the hard work that got her there has been a focus for her SSN preparation. She has also rebuilt the strength needed to take on the more physical defenders. In 2021 expect unpredictability and variety, eyes will be on her and teams will think they have her worked out……

Peace Proscovia:

Peace worked hard to get gains in the gym this pre-season and was unrelenting in her shooting practice.  In 2021 Peace will be a rock and target no matter who is around her, she is looking strong and confident will be a goal scoring machine.

Binnian Hunt:

After getting a taste in 2020, Binni was determined to do what was needed to keep pushing for any opportunity that may come her way.  Understanding her strengths and what she brings to the team and court has been a big learning for her. When she gets an opportunity she will grab it with both hands, Binni is an explosive athlete who isn’t afraid to take anyone on!

Midcourt:

Laura Scherian:

To summarise her pre-season – Fitter, faster, stronger……is that possible? In 2021 expect more creativity and control, Shez is ready to fire and her pre-season form has been impressive, she has a point to prove and knows what it takes to win Premierships!

Mahalia Cassidy:

Mahalia has bought so much energy and spark to our Lightning team. She has done the hard yards in the gym and on the court and can’t wait to put these out there now in Round 1. As an extraordinary athlete, Harls has combined with the rest of the team to deliver on her strengths and take her game to another level.

Maddy McAuliffe:

The epitome of a high performing athlete who again understands the importance of building a good base. She’s a naturally gifted athlete and she continues to set herself up for a great season. It’s time for Mads to strike,  she’s worked hard on perfecting her 1-on-1 game but now has the ability to disrupt and cause chaos for her opponents. The ultimate team player!

Maddie Hinchliffe:

Mads joined Lightning in the pre season and has impressed in every area, she worked hard to come back after knee surgery at the end of last year and you could see the growth as an athlete and netballer every time she took the court. When she overcomes her current injury, expect the unexpected…..Maddie is a quiet achiever who no one will see coming but has the ability to have an enormous presence on court, whether it’s through tight defence or getting her hand on the ball.

Ash Unie:

Ash had set herself up beautifully to make a mark in her first SSN season with her work in the pre season.  The pre season injury will see her sidelined but she has learnt what it takes to prepare for Suncorp Super Netball. She will play a massive part in what we are trying to achieve on and off the court, she will be another set of eyes and smarts from the sideline and her input will be invaluable.

Defenders:

Karla Pretorius:

Time at home in South Africa gave Karla some much needed down time which saw her return stronger and more motivated than ever.  She worked extremely hard at home so that her return to the Lightning environment was seamless. Get excited Lightning fans, expect her 2019 form this season! Karla is energised, committed and now with the captaincy is leaving no stone unturned to ensure she stays as one of the leading players in the world.  The captaincy will only add to her game and her ability to lead on court through amazing performances.

Kate Shimmin:

It seems like Kate has a new lease on life and in particular her netball life. The aim was to get Kate fit and build her engine to run out long periods in a match and she attacked the program set for her every time she showed up. She has an amazing energy which only helped push her team mates and make the transition so easy. In 2021, the sky is the limit!

Phumza:

Phumza did the hard work back home in South Africa and knew what to expect when she got back to the Sunshine Coast. She has fallen back into the routine of trying to be better every time she steps into the gym or on court and will continue to get stronger as the season progresses. Phumz knows how important her contribution is on court and we are hearing her voice so much more.  She is totally understanding and invested in what is expected of her and I think we will see her best season yet.

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