World-class shooter Cara Koenen has become Sunshine Coast Lightning’s first confirmed signing for 2022, with the Club poised to reveal its full player contingent in the coming weeks.
The foundation Lightning player and current Origin Diamond has dominated the Suncorp Super Netball competition in recent years, cementing her spot as an world class, mobile shooter.
A career best 517 goals this season demonstrates Koenen’s dominance out on court, however the respect she has garnered from peers, coaches, staff and the wider community must also be commended.
Koenen received both the Players’ Player of the Year Award and Members’ Player of the Year Award at the 2021 A Night with Lightning Gala event – the latter for a second consecutive year.
In 2019 the shooter was also recognised as the Club Community Champion at the same event.
Head Coach Kylee Byrne was thrilled to retain the services of Koenen for a sixth season and is confident her reputation amongst the top echelon of SSN players will only grow in coming years.
“To see what Cara has achieved in the past two seasons especially has been so pleasing and I have no doubt there is plenty of improvement to come as she adds new dimensions to her game,” Byrne said.
“Cara is not afraid of hard work and while there has always been incredible raw talent, it’s that dedication to her craft that has elevated her status to one of the best shooters in the world.
“I’ve really enjoyed watching her discover her voice and take on the responsibility of being a senior member of our team and consistently leading by example.”
Koenen said she is thrilled to continue her career at Lightning, where she made her debut in 2017.
“Lightning holds such a special place in my heart and I’m glad to continue my time at the Sunshine Coast for the next two seasons,” Koenen said.
“I’m really enjoying my netball at the moment and the challenge of drawing some of the best defenders each week.
“There’s a lot of excitement building towards 2022 and I’m confident our Lightning team have a lot to offer, with a mix of returning and new faces.”
So far, Lightning has announced the departure of foundation player Maddy McAuliffe who has chosen to step away from netball, as well as Peace Proscovia and Phumza Maweni who are seeking new opportunities.
Clubs have until Friday 8 October to announce their full squad of 10 for season 2022.