A tough pre-season program is paying dividends, with Sunshine Coast Lightning producing two highly competitive performances against GIANTS Netball and NSW Swifts in Sydney this week.
The first look at the new Lightning outfit was promising, with the team coming away with two wins and, more importantly, a number of key learnings.
Head Coach Kylee Byrne was pleased to see her team stand tall in the first two pre-season matches of the year, with Round 1 of season proper just 50 days away.
“It was great to finally get out on court and test ourselves mentally and physically against quality opposition like the GIANTS and Swifts,” Byrne said.
“We knew we had put in the work physically so far in pre-season, so to be able to get through back-to-back games justifies the hard program that the squad have completed so far.”
Competing against fellow SSN opponents allowed Byrne to further test her team’s match fitness, as well as refine the emerging connections across the court.
The quality of netball on display from her athletes impressed the Queensland Coach, however the team are unwilling to rest on their laurels, returning to the Coast with a list of key areas they are eager to improve on.
“There is nothing like match time to test your decision making and skills under pressure, so they were the areas we are going to concentrate on improving now we are home,” she said.
“While we did leave with some real positives from this Lightning group, there is also now a list of areas that we want to be better at.”
Byrne specifically highlighted the performances of new recruits Reilley Batcheldor and Annie Miller as well as Jamaican recruit Kadie-Ann Dehaney – who only joined the playing group this fortnight.
“I was particularly happy with how our newest Lightning members performed and I can’t wait to see what Reilley, Kadie-Ann and Annie will do now they’ve had a taste in Lightning colours and at this level,” she said.
“With only a few weeks until Team Girls Cup we will resume training as a full squad after a disjointed January and ensure we are better every time we step out.”