At the midway point of the 2021 season, we cast our eye over the players in each position and hear from Vicki Wilson on what to expect in the second half.
Scherian is back to career best form which saw her rewarded with a Diamonds spot against New Zealand in 2019. She is playing to her strengths with her amazing skill and speed and is playing the WA role perfectly when it comes to centre pass receives and controlling the attacking end. The swing back to the centre has added another addition to her game and takes her back to the position where she won two premierships in 2017 and 2018.
Vicki Wilson: What can I say, Shez is brave and bold taking on some of the biggest opponents in the competition. Each game she is refining her signature moves. She’s instrumental with the speed in the forward line for Lightning.
Cassidy has grown and grown each match, so the second half of the season is where are expecting her to shine. With the ability to play all three mid court positions, is proving her worth and creating headaches for opposition with her ability to shut someone down and also get crucial gains. The attacking connections with the Lightning goal shooters will also be an area to watch.
Vicki Wilson: Mahalia is a defensive menace due to her quick lateral movement. She has an uncanny ability to slot in with all combinations due to her great game awareness. She is exciting to watch in full flight.
McAuliffe has continued to impress throughout the 2021 season. A command performance in round 2 saw her named Player of the Match and it was a performance Head Coach Kylee Byrne knew was not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. Rotating between Wing Defence and Centre really plays to McAuliffe’s strengths and with more time in the centre role we should see some more stand out performances.
Vicki Wilson: Maddy has really grown her Centre game and slots in really well with our forward line due to her great timing. She’s always alert for any crumbs and has the ability to compete for an extended period of time, covering multiple movements by her opponent.
Maddie Hinchliffe was elevated as a permanent replacement player in the place of Ashlee Unie this pre-season but unfortunately sustained a foot injury which has kept her off court. She’s been diligent in her rehabilitation and will now look at hopefully building towards competitive court time in the coming weeks. Lightning coaches hope to see Maddie make her Lightning debut in the second half of the year and if her pre-season form is anything to go by, she will take the opportunity with both hands.
Vicki Wilson: Maddie has entered the Tour de France (due to her cycling during rehab) and with her determination is sure to be on the winners podium.