Lightning Mean Business As Pre-Season Resumes

A strong collaborative approach between Head Coach and Assistant has benefited Sunshine Coast Lightning in its foundation years and that trend looks set to continue in 2020.

The already established rapport between Kylee Byrne and incoming Assistant Coach Christine Voge means it’s been business as usual for Lightning this pre-season.

“I’ve worked with Chris as an Assistant Coach before in a couple of different teams, so she is fitting in perfectly at the moment,” Byrne said.

“Because of that past relationship with her, the coaching partnership has [already been developed].

“It’s business as usual and we are hitting the ground running – I think its testament to how we set up [the program] in the first three years and the handover Noels (Noeline Taurua) has done.”

The changing of the guards has been subtle as Byrne firmly establishes herself in the Head Coach role and while fans can expect some slight differences, core elements of the Lightning program will remain.

“At the moment it is a really nice mix, we’re not changing the routine or structures but there is certainly my way of coaching in there,” she said.

“We are looking at different skills – Noeline was really strong on defensive structures, I’m probably just putting a bit more of an Australian flare into it with some one-on-one defence.

“It’s going to be a really nice hybrid, a mix of both styles.

“The ‘Noels’ factor is certainly there and we are not going to throw that out when it was so successful.”

Both Byrne and Voge have played pivotal roles in the development of a number of Lightning’s Queensland players, including Jacqui Russell, who has been impressed by the ‘new’ pairing.

“The new coaching dynamic is good – I am really familiar with Chris and Kylee personally, from playing [in Queensland pathways] when I was younger,” Russell said.

“All through my junior years I had something to do with both of them.

“For me it doesn’t feel like anything too different but as we progress and start to get into strategies closer to the season, we will start to see some differences to previous seasons.”

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