Lawrie Hungry For Opportunities

Annabelle Lawrie always admired Sunshine Coast Lightning as a Club.

Now one year into the system she is even more confident that this Club is the right match for her as a person and a player. 

The 19-year-old did not hesitate when offered her Training Partner contract for 2021, eager to see what awaits in year two.

“It’s always been a dream to be signed to Lightning, so there was no hesitation to sign that contract,” Lawrie said.

“The drawcard really is that family environment and having the girls around you, everyone genuinely being so close.

“Being part of the most successful team in the SSN is a real driving force and to know you’re matching up against the best at training is really cool.

“To get the call up from [Head Coach Kylee Byrne] was pretty exciting and I can’t wait to spend 2021 with Lightning again.”

Lawrie was given the rare experience of debuting in her first year as Training Partner and while it was only five minutes of court time, it is a feeling she will never forget.

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted the introduction of an extended squad of 12, allowing Lawrie as well as fellow Training Partners Ashlee Unie and Binnian Hunt to get a feel for the tempo of the game at senior level.

“I never thought I would be able to step out on court as a Training Partner. Never!” she exclaimed.

“Seeing Ash and Binni who have been with the Club for so long and they are only now getting the opportunity…

“I know the coaches put me on for a reason, so I just need to trust them and what they have taught me – there’s plenty of things to work on now.”

While the cancellation of the 2020 Australian Netball League reduced match play opportunities, it did mean Training Partners were afforded more time to train in the Lightning environment.

Annie believes that exposure to the more intensive video analysis and review sessions has really benefited her as a player.

“I’ve definitely felt a difference, using my smarts on the court and being able to read the play a few phases earlier, as opposed to just seeing it as it comes,” she said.

“I have also worked hard to improve my shooting under pressure as well.

“It made me want to work harder and made me hungrier for those spots in future years to come.

“I just want to keep getting better every time I step out at training or on court and to improve my game.”