Lightning Diamond Duo Locked In For 2021

Sunshine Coast Lightning’s potent shooting combination of Steph Wood and Cara Koenen will continue into 2021, with the Club today announcing the pair have re-committed for next season.

The two foundation players were central to Lightning’s attack end in 2020 and that connection will only continue to grow with increased court time next season.

Wood and Koenen this week returned from the Origin Diamonds camp in Noosa after both players were selected in the national squad in preparation for the next International cycle.

Lightning Head Coach Kylee Byrne said she has been impressed with how the pair have worked in tandem this season and is thrilled the duo have signed on to finalise the Club’s 2021 shooting circle.

“I’m extremely proud of what Steph and Cara were able to achieve this year despite adversity – both players add so much to this Lightning side, both on and off court,” Byrne said.

“While the pair have played alongside each other for four years, this season allowed them invaluable court time to harness and strengthen their combination and that has Lightning well placed in 2021 and beyond.

“Individually, Steph left no stone unturned while rehabilitating her knee after surgery and was rewarded with a string of really strong performances in the SSN, then capped off the year with Diamonds selection.

“It has been a pleasure to watch Cara really find her feet at Goal Shooter this season and command the respect of some of the best defenders of the league.

“To also earn Diamonds squad selection for the first time in her career is a credit to her hard work and patience.”

Steph Wood was pleased to be able to continue her career at Lightning for a fifth consecutive year.

“This year taught me a lot about myself and I think that will only make me a better netballer and I’m really eager to have an uninterrupted, full pre-season,” Wood said.

“We’ve come so far as a group at Lightning but there’s still so much left for us to achieve and I’m excited to be a part of that.”

Fellow Queensland product Koenen said she had no hesitation in signing on with the Club for another year.

“Our team here at Lightning has become my family and they’ve all taught me so much, season to season,” Koenen said.

“2021 is another clean slate and I can’t wait to build on this year and play my role for the team.”

Lightning have officially announced 9 players from their 2021 squad with the goal circle consisting of Steph Wood, Cara Koenen and Peace Proscovia.

Karla Pretorius, Phumza Maweni and new recruit Kate Shimmin have been named in defence.

While Maddy McAuliffe, Laura Scherian and Ashlee Unie have been locked in for the Lightning midcourt.