Coach Finding Koenen Hard To Ignore
Coach Noeline Taurua admits that Cara Koenen’s play for a spot in Lightning’s starting seven is becoming hard to ignore, after regularly impressing in training and on game day.
In fact, Lightning’s coaches have a selection headache of the best kind.
Goal Shooter Peace Proscovia has produced numerous command performances in her first six Suncorp Super League matches.
But Koenen is eyeing more game time, making her intentions known at every opportunity – stringing a number of solid performances together on the court.
Koenen earned the starting seven position in Lightning’s round one clash against the Collingwood Magpies after a solid preseason.
Since then, Coach Noeline Taurua has been utilising the agile tall rotating off the bench to shake up a fatiguing opposition.
But the possibility of a starting position could be inching closer.
“I think she’s been pushing her case over the last two or three weeks and it always come down to what happens over the week and the opportunities that exist for each individual,” Taurua said.
“But it’s getting harder and harder to deny her the start.
“We’ve been really happy with what she’s been able to do out on court – both in training and in real time.”
The 23 year old has shot 75 goals at 87.2% efficiency in her 130 minutes of game time this year and is providing a mobile option in the circle.
“Getting that bit of court-time, I’ve been focusing on using everything I can get and making a stand to show that I can rise to that level, in terms of Noeline and Kylee, so they have enough confidence in me to chuck me on in those tight games,” Koenen said.
“My feedback from the coaches has been that I’ve been doing everything I need to at training.”
The Shooter showed off her own versatility when she was shifted to Goal Attack against the Vixens to release Steph Wood onto the wing.
Fans were then treated to the exciting combination of Proscovia and Koenen in the goal circle simultaneously – but it’s their point of difference that seems to be Lightning’s best weapon.
And working in tandem with the Ugandan World Cup captain is something that excites the foundation Lightning player.
“Peace and I bring very different games – Peace obviously has that incredible athleticism and an awesome hold back in that circle,” Koenen said.
“But being able to come on and change things up a little bit and give the defenders something new to think about is kind of what I’m doing at the moment.”