A fearless, hungry and joyful Reilley Batcheldor is set for more Suncorp Super Netball court time after her luminous long-range shooting for the Sunshine Coast Lightning. 

Mentoring from netball great Vicki Wilson and Diamonds duo Steph Wood and Cara Koenen has paid enormous dividends for the 19-year-old in her maiden season at the top level. 

In every opportunity she has lived up to the high expectations of her coaches, culminating in last round’s perfect third quarter shooting performance against the NSW Swifts that included four two-point super goals. 

Coach Kylee Byrne has the luxury of two Diamonds in the goal circle but is keen to see what Batcheldor can do with more exposure, starting on Sunday at home against the fourth-placed GIANTS Netball. 

We are very aware of the impact she can have on Super Shots but she has so many more strengths to offer as an elite netballer,” Byrne said. 

“I’d love to get her out there for a bit more this weekend.” 

Passion for netball 

Lightning have a knack for developing confident shooters. 

Just as Koenen was tutored by former Australian Captain Caitlin Bassett when she arrived at the Club, Koenen is now one of the experienced influencers guiding Batcheldor’s progress. 

Former World Cup-winning Captain Wilson is not surprised by the teenager’s success. 

Rather than feel what can be a crippling weight associated with the responsibility of shooting, Batcheldor revels in it. 

“I just love watching her,” said Wilson, now an Assistant Coach at Lightning. 

“To see the joy and excitement she gets from shooting is the thing that brings me so much joy. 

“She’s so happy to be in the circle. She can’t get enough of it and doesn’t see training as a chore.” 

Like a sponge 

Batcheldor humbly said her match-winning performance against the Swifts was merely “doing her job”. 

But she clearly appreciates the shooting cartel around her since linking with Lightning from the Queensland Firebirds where she was a training partner last year. 

“They’ve (Wood and Koenen) been amazing to me and now they’ve both been selected in the Aussie Diamonds it’s another great thing for me to look up to,” Batcheldor said. 

“It’s a great environment to be in. Two Diamonds and Vicki. 

“Vicki’s quite tough but I need that and I love Vicki.” 

The full package 

Already showing enormous potential as a long-range shooter, Wilson said Batcheldor can hurt opponents in various ways and is now adding the tactical edge to accompany her radar. 

She is already blending the movement and court smarts of Wood with Koenen’s strength and accuracy. 

The confidence to turn and shoot when she’s in the zone is already there, according to Wilson, and re-offering to find a better spot when she’s not hot is a work in progress. 

Defenders will also learn that Batcheldor can tweak her timing on the run. 

“She can vary her timing on release. Reilley can put in a quick one or take 2.8 seconds if she needs to,” Wilson said. 

“And she can do it without disrupting her technique. That’s where the practice comes in.” 

Tickets are on sale now for the Lightning v GIANTS match at USC Stadium on Sunday 1 May 2022, from 2pm

More Articles