Introducing Lightning’s Newest Recruit: Annabelle Lawrie
When Annie Lawrie received the call to become a Training Partner with Sunshine Coast Lightning, it took some convincing…
Not convincing to take the offer, but rather to persuade the 18-year-old that the call was not a cruel prank.
Once Lawrie realised Head Coach Kylee Byrne’s offer was true, she was quick to accept.
“When Kylee first called me, I didn’t really believe her. I kept asking if she was telling me the truth,” Lawrie said.
“I’m really excited and can’t wait to get started.”
The Gold Coast talent has had a keen eye on the newest Queensland franchise since Lightning joined the Suncorp Super Netball competition.
While the thought of joining a Club that has featured in three consecutive Grand Finals was appealing, Lawrie said the care and off court culture of the Club is what really attracted her to Lightning.
“I just love the family culture that they have and how inclusive they are of everyone,” she said.
“To win two years in a row and to still make the Grand Final again this year – it’s just going to be awesome to be a part of it.
“It’s pretty surreal to be honest, it’s been a dream of mine but I didn’t think it will happen this early.
“It won’t feel real until it starts happening.”
Lawrie represented Northern Territory as an import player in the U19s Nationals and trained with the Territory Storm Australian National League (ANL) side earlier this year before joining the Brisbane South Wildcats in the Ruby Series.
She was elevated to the Sapphire series in the Wildcats’ finals campaign, where she impressed at Goal Attack – showing composure and skill against more experienced opposition.
The 18-year-old made an impact when given court time in the Wildcats’ Premiership win, growing in confidence as the game unfolded.
While Goal Attack is Lawrie’s preferred position, she is equally as capable at Goal Shooter.
“I can shoot from anywhere and I think one of my strengths is to read the game and know where the ball is going next – to be there if needed, or to get out [of the space] if there’s too many people,” Lawrie said.
Head Coach Kylee Byrne said the new addition had quickly settled within the playing group and while the step up into an elite program will be a challenge, it’s one the shooter will relish.
“We’ve been keeping an eye on Annie now for a while so after a very big 2019 we are extremely excited to reward her with a training partner contract,” Byrne said.
“She has settled in brilliantly and impressed already so far in her first few weeks.
“It will be a steep learning curve but one that we are confident she has the skills and maturity to handle.”
Before accepting the role with Lightning, the shooter was earmarked to play in the Queensland Fusion side in the 2020 season, as reward for effort after a strong year.
Annie recently relocated to the Sunshine Coast to live with family friends and has enrolled in a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) / Bachelor of Recreation and Outdoor Environmental Studies at the University of the Sunshine Coast for next year.