New Recruits Add Spark

An injection of new talent has helped reinvigorate energy levels at Sunshine Coast Lightning with Head Coach Kylee Byrne praising the influence of new recruits Kate Shimmin and Mahalia Cassidy.

Cassidy (Queensland Firebirds) and Shimmin (Adelaide Thunderbirds) have impressed the Coach in their first month of pre-season training at the Club, alongside fellow new recruit, Training Partner Maddie Hinchliffe (Queensland Firebirds).

“They have already exceeded my expectation and that is purely from the work they have put in already in pre-season and how they’ve fit in with the group,” Byrne said.

“That cultural fit, the ability to gel with other players has just gone to another level.”

The playing group have drawn comparisons to the excitement during the Club’s inaugural pre-season with the forming of new combinations and untapped potential within the group.

Of Lightning’s 2021 lineup, five foundation players remain, as well as the newly elevated Ashlee Unie who was one of Lightning’s Training Partners during the first season. 

“A few players are saying it’s a little bit like year one – that little bit of excitement and difference that two players can bring,” she said.

“I am really happy with where we are at with our new recruits.”

The full athlete contingent has been back in full training since January, with the exception of South African players Karla Pretorius and Phumza Maweni who are completing individual programs whilst overseas.

Byrne said the group have their eyes firmly on the proposed May Suncorp Super Netball start date and she looks forward to seeing what this group can achieve.

“It’s full steam ahead for the home and away season,” she said.