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Competition For Spots Keeping Taurua’s Lightning On Their Toes

A clean bill of health at the Sunshine Coast Lightning means Coach Noeline Taurua is in the enviable position of having a full list come team selection.

Having a full cohort of players at the ready each week means that any spot is for the taking and bibs must be earned.

“That’s a positive out of our group – we’ve got everyone ready to go, we’ve got no issues with bodies,” Taurua said.

One position that is hotly contested is that of goal shooter, and it was reward for effort for Cara Koenen when she was named in the starting seven in round 1.

“Cara deserved the starting bib as she’s been consistent in trainings for the last six weeks – she’s been able to make her presence known on court and behind the scenes and she was rewarded for that which is fantastic,” Taurua said.

“She’s sat behind ‘Bass’ for the last couple of years, she learnt her trade from the world’s best goal shooter Caitlin Basset.

“From the Club’s perspective and long term investment we are delighted that Cara was ready to take the court.

“She got the opportunity… but also we have two options.”

Exciting new recruit Peace Proscovia is breathing down Cara’s neck, fighting for her chance to start in the goal circle – keeping her teammate alert.

Taurua would give no hints about who would be named in the starting seven against the West Coast Fever but said decisions would be made based on performance at training, readiness and strategy.

Photo: Cara Koenen and Peace Proscovia during the Suncorp #TeamGirls Cup preseason competition.

“This week is huge for both players – as it is for everybody as we come off a loss against Collingwood and head into Round 2 of SSN ,” she said.

“SSN is the best domestic netball competition in the World.

“So every player has to do the work, they’ve got to be able to back themselves and know they can do the business out on court.

“All will usually be revealed as we progress through our normal week of training, gym, video analysis and meetings”.

Captain Laura Langman reiterated the coach’s comments and said the competition among the group was elevating training standards.

“What’s really great about our group this season – every spot is up for grabs until our bud’ja or captains run,” Langman said.

“I think that’s a mentality that everyone’s definitely committed to and that’s what we want.

“I know from experience, sometimes you might think you’re starting in one position and you go on somewhere else.

“It’s all about competition and you’ve got to grab those bibs when you can.”

You can watch all the action live from 1pm (AEST) on the Nine Network when the Sunshine Coast Lightning take on West Coast Fever in Perth on Sunday.