Lightning Building To Season Start
Sunshine Coast Lightning has continued to draw on the life lessons of 2020 this pre-season, with flexibility proving to be an ongoing asset.
Queensland’s recent string of COVID cases led to Lightning’s two Kalgoorlie trial games against West Coast Fever to be cancelled, but Head Coach Kylee Byrne refuses to dwell for too long.
Despite the change in plans, the buzz of excitement around the Club is stronger than ever.
“We were really disappointed not to get to play Fever in Kalgoorlie,” Byrne said.
“That was an important part of our pre-season, particularly having the South Africans and Cara back from the Diamonds – it was going to be a great hit out with the team of ten.
“Given those lost opportunities, we just hit the training court hard and prepared for the Firebirds next Tuesday night.”
Lightning has two practice matches remaining before season proper, a game against Queensland Firebirds and one against the QLD Men’s.
Both games provide opportunities to benchmark their pre-season progress from previous matches played throughout February.
“We will put everything out there and it will be a really good gauge of where we are at,” she said.
“[Firebirds] have played some really good games in their pre-season.
“We played them in early Feb, so that recap will help illustrate how much we’ve moved (and they’ve moved) since then and what we need to keep on building for Round 1.”
The Club will go head-to-head with Collingwood Magpies in the league season opener on Saturday 1 May next week.
Lightning will endeavour to become the only team to make 5 consecutive finals campaigns in the Suncorp Super Netball competition this season.
While recent external speculation pegs Lightning to be one of the teams that could drop out of finals contention, Byrne is happy to adopt the ‘underdog’ status.
“I love being the underdog – it happens every single year,” she said.
“I really love to see it, it means that we can be a bit unpredictable and take teams that people aren’t expecting.
“In saying that, I know the other teams have the utmost respect for us, they are doing their homework just as we are doing our homework.
“Public perception is very different to being on court and what we put out there.”