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Koenen Keen To Play

The Suncorp Super Netball season start is less than a fortnight away and that knowledge has Sunshine Coast Lightning’s Cara Koenen champing at the bit to get out on court.

The shooter said the league’s announcement on Sunday for a compact season based out of Queensland provided teams’ relief, knowing that a full SSN season would go ahead in 2020.

Koenen was quick to acknowledge the sacrifices made by opposition teams, and their members and fans, with the majority of games to be played between Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Gold Coast.

“I’m extremely excited, after quite a tumultuous year we are so happy to get some concrete news out about the season,” Koenen said.

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“It will be a tough ten weeks for the athletes forced to relocate I would think, but we are going to do our best at the Sunshine Coast to make this a home away from home for them and start our season.”

Lightning are in a privileged position to be able to remain Sunshine Coast-based, playing home games in front of their loyal Members and fans at USC Stadium.

Koenen said despite social distancing restrictions, she still anticipates the atmosphere in Stadium to be electric, as Lightning and opposition teams have come to expect in previous seasons.

“I think the pressure is on for sure – we’ve created ourselves a bit of a fortress here at USC Stadium,” she said.

“So being able to use that to our advantage and have our home crowd – in whatever capacity that may be – backing us should hopefully help us get over the line in a few games.

“Again, we’re not sure what to expect, so we’re going to play it game by game and see how we go.”

Despite the home court advantage, Lightning refuse to be lulled into a sense of complacency, instead viewing this as an opportunity to put the best product out on court to engage and excite fans, new and old.

“We’re expecting a really tough fight every single week,” she said.

“I think everyone is probably pretty keen to watch some female sport, we’ve had the boys on TV for a little too long, it’s time to get some females out there.

“Hopefully our games won’t clash with too many [local netball] club games – hopefully we have as many people in stadium or glued to their couches and watching us on tv.”

The Suncorp Super Netball season will commence on 1 August, with a fixture expected to be released this week.

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