Coach Calls On Diamonds Selectors To Take Notice

With the Origin Diamond squad announcement just weeks away, Sunshine Coast Lightning Head Coach Kylee Byrne has called on selectors to keep close eyes on her attacking trio.

Cara Koenen dominated on debut for the Diamonds in February this year, taking ownership of the Goal Shooter position and finding form and confidence that has flowed through to her Suncorp Super Netball season in 2021.

Adding long-term shooting partner Steph Wood into the mix on the international stage is a tantalising prospect that selectors will need to consider.

Injury prevented Wood from participating in the past two Constellation Cup campaigns but Byrne was confident that the dynamic Goal Attack was a shoo in.

“She’s in the squad, whenever she’s put on the Diamonds dress she’s performed,” Byrne said.

“It was just injury that kept her out from playing last time.

“She’s in the squad and I’m hoping of course off the back recent performances that she keeps her spot and that’s the same with Cara.”

Byrne also believes the Lightning mid court all deserve to be considered for selection after all impressing consistently to maintain that top 4 position in 2021.

Scherian made her Diamonds debut in the 2019 Constellation Cup series, however, was overlooked in the most recent squad selection.

The Lightning foundation player has been prolific, rotating through Wing Attack and Centre and serving the shooters with her pinpoint feeds.

“The performance she’s put out there is back to the 2019 standard where she did put on the Diamonds dress,” she said.

“I think her consistency and ability to play both positions earns her a spot as well.”

New Lightning mid courter has Mahalia Cassidy has been quietly working in the background to wear down attacking opponents and has the versatility to cover all three positions as well. After earning a place in the Australian Development Squad in 2020, Byrne believes Cassidy has all the makings of a future Diamond.

Another Lightning player touted as a possible Diamond debutant is Maddy McAuliffe after netball great Liz Ellis named the Wing Defence in her squad predictions last week.

McAuliffe has been a consistent contributor to Lightning’s midcourt since the team’s inception and has only increased her influence this season rotating through Wing Defence and Centre.

More Articles