Well-respected Captain Karla Pretorius will remain in Sunshine Coast Lightning colours in 2022, officially re-signing with the Club.
The South African native will return to the Sunshine Coast for a sixth season, bolstering the Club’s defensive circle.
Pretorius is one of two athletes to play in each of Lightning’s 80 matches since the Club’s inception, also taking out three consecutive Player of the Year awards between 2018 – 2020.
Head Coach Kylee Byrne praised the influence of Pretorius as player and Captain in her time at the Club and said she is confident 2022 will be another highly successful year for her.
“Karla is the ultimate Club person and we’re thrilled that she will be back at Lightning next season,” Byrne said.
“Karla expects the absolute best of herself in every session and the influence on her teammates in matches to follow her lead is one of her strengths.
“While highly disciplined, she is also an approachable and caring person who has time for anyone and that makes her an invaluable asset to our team.
“I’d also like to acknowledge the sacrifices she continues to make year on year to remain in the Lightning environment, living away from her husband Werner and family in South Africa.”
Pretorius said she feels privileged to play another season for Lightning under Byrne.
“Every season at Lightning brings something new but I’ve loved and cherished each of them and am excited to see what is in store for 2022,” Pretorius said.
“We have such a close-knit group of players and staff who all want to improve and grow with each session and I truly believe that’s what makes this Club so special.
“The last two seasons have left us with unfinished business and now, more than ever, I want to do everything within my power to be there with my Lightning teammates come Grand Final day next year.”
Pretorius has played 119 national league games in her career and in 2021 impressed with 33 intercepts, 50 deflections and 55 gains.
The departure of Pretorius’s South African partner Phumza Maweni will see a new-look defence end for Lightning, with the recruitment of Tara Hinchliffe and Kadie-Ann Dehaney, in addition to the re-signing of Kate Shimmin, providing a dynamic and versatile grouping.