The opportunity of another international campaign excites Cara Koenen, as she switches her focus from Lightning to her Origin Diamonds commitments.
“I’ve already shifted my focus to the Diamonds campaign,” Koenen said.
“Obviously I was completely focused on finals and getting the job done for Sunshine Coast Lightning.
“Having bowed out of finals, I have definitely already shifted towards that mindset, making sure I am getting the best prep that I possibly can, so I can be ready to have another confidence building performance whenever we get to play in that green and gold dress.”
Origin Diamonds Coach Stacey Markinkovich took the opportunity while still in Queensland to put both Cara Koenen and Steph Wood through their paces this week at USC Stadium, in a solid court session.
The former Fever coach said the it was a great opportunity to develop relationships in person and begin to align the two shooters with the Diamonds’ philosophies and game strategy headed into a new campaign.
“The opportunity to touch base with players… it’s about being able to build relationships,” Marinkovich said.
“It’s about trying to connect and make sure we’re on the same page and aligned with our thinking so that when we do have the time together it is purposeful and effective.”
Marinkovich had a glowing report on Koenen’s 2021 season and how far she’s come since her last Diamonds’ appearance in the Constellation Cup earlier this year.
“Obviously Cara is very good on that baseline but I think the way in which she’s gone to increase her strength, her power, she’s gaining a lot of versatility in what she’s doing out on court,” she said.
“She’s making the defenders guess and she’s able to more dictate and attack the opposition.”
The Diamonds’ Coach looks forward to being able to work with both Koenen and Wood as individuals as well as a strong combination throughout the coming months.
“Having recently finished SSN it’s about getting ball skills happening and keeping the movement and really focusing on the loading,” she said.
“The way in which you see them play for Lightning – [it would be exciting] to incorporate that into the Diamonds’ game plan and the way in which they can build and enhance the combinations we’ve got.”
Netball Australia yesterday announced that an international 4-game series has been confirmed against English Roses, with locations and exact dates to be confirmed in the near future.