Cassidy: It Feels Like Home Already

Mahalia Cassidy was quick to brush off her ‘first day nerves’ and channel that extra energy into pre-season preparations with Sunshine Coast Lightning this fortnight.

The midcourter said the anticipation of adjusting to a new Club environment has given her added motivation to prove herself in the gym and out on track.

“It felt like a first day of school when I first came in,” Cassidy said.

“A bit of nerves but so much excitement – it’s been really great over the last few weeks to settle in and it feels like home already.

“I am really happy where I am at the moment and I’m excited to be around such a great group of girls and to embark on a new journey.

“It’s the hard part of the year, pre-season, but it’s something I really enjoy.”

Looking forward to 2021, Cassidy said her body is in the best shape it’s been and her concentration is now on playing a strong, consistent brand of netball.

“2021 is all about consistency for me,” she said.

“I was able to come back from injury and have a pretty good season under my belt last year but didn’t play the consistent netball that I was after.

“I want to improve my game and my defence but also be able to play a whole 60 minutes and do it well.”

This is not the first time the 25-year-old has played under Lightning Head Coach Kylee Byrne, having brushed shoulders in her Queensland Fusion days in the Australian Netball League.

There are also a number of former teammates that now feature in Lightning’s line up, which brings a level of comfort for the midcourter.

“It was awesome to have a few conversations with Kylee at the end of last year to hear her vision for the group and the Club and it really aligned with my values,” she said.

“I’ve had Kylee as a Coach before, so I do know what she’s like and especially after watching the success of Lightning I can’t wait to see what I can add to the mix as well.

“I’ve been lucky to play with some of the girls in the past too, but I haven’t had the experience of playing with all of the internationals, so there’s excitement of having new teammates as well.”

While the Suncorp Super Netball is yet to release a season fixture for 2021, Cassidy said she anticipates the competition will be fierce and every team will be keen to cement their spot.

Facing her former team in the Queensland Firebirds will undoubtedly be an emotional affair but the 25-year-old is more eager to just play netball.

“With COVID and the way things are going we’re unsure what’s going to happen, so we are just being adaptable and seeing how we go,” she said.

“It will be great to come up against the Firebirds but every team is going to be hard next season so I’m excited for the challenge and to be in new colours and to experience it with the Club.”