Sunshine Coast Lightning will play its first ever Suncorp Super Netball Round 1 match at home this weekend at UniSC Arena against GIANTS Netball.

With a brand-new Head Coach and Assistant Coach, and a number of potential debuts, Lightning Members and fans are eager to fill the stands on Sunday to see the team in action.

Lightning Head Coach Belinda Reynolds said she is expecting a hard-fought, physical challenge this weekend against the GIANTS.

“Pre-season is absolutely a grind, but the players are really looking forward to putting out what we’ve worked so hard on in pre-season this weekend,” she said.

“GIANTS are a quality side and we’ve got a lot of respect for them. They narrowly missed out on a grand final appearance last year, so we know that we will have to be on our game to beat them this weekend.

“We are expecting a physical challenge out there and I think the game will go right down to the wire. I’m really looking forward to doing that in front of our home crowd here at UniSC Arena for the first time in a Round 1 match.”

Lightning player Kadie-Ann Dehaney said she was looking forward to the weekend and to show everyone what the team has been working so hard on.

“Round 1 is around the corner and we are so excited just to get out there and show what we can do this year,” she said.

“For me personally, I feel like I’m in really good shape and very level-headed leading into this game. We know GIANTS are a very physical team and they tend to move the ball through court very quickly — they also have long-range shooters.

“We’re definitely up for the challenge and we’re going to go in there hard and play some good quality netball.”

When asked about working closely with Karla Pretorius — who has this season returned from having her first child — Dehaney said there’s been lots to learn from the world-class defender.

“It’s very exciting to work with Karla and to understand her insights and knowledge of the game. We’re always bouncing off each other with Ash [Ervin] too and learning from her,” she said.

Lightning’s pre-season has not come without its challenges, with defender Tara Hinchliffe recently sustaining a ruptured ACL during the Team Girls Cup pre-season tournament which will see her miss the 2023 season.

A contracted temporary replacement player has not yet been confirmed, however Lightning Training Partner Leilani Rohweder has been elevated into the squad of 10 for this weekend’s match.

Match info

Round 1 Team List: 

Steph Wood (C)

Cara Koenen

Karla Pretorius

Laura Scherian (VC)

Mahalia Cassidy

Kadie-Ann Dehaney

Annie Miller

Ash Ervin

Charlie Bell

Leilani Rohweder

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