No Hitting The Brakes In World Cup Break

With just five on court at Sunshine Coast Lightning training during the World Cup Break there’s nowhere to hide.

Assistant Coach Kylee Byrne will have all eyes on the smaller Lightning contingent over the next three weeks – and while there are no Suncorp Super Netball games to immediately focus on, there’s no dip in intensity.

“We have 50% still at camp which is a little different but we are working hard and ticking away over the next three weeks so we are ready when the internationals come back – and hopefully they can slot in nicely,” Lightning shooter Cara Koenen said.

“If anything, there’s nowhere to hide with five people here.

“We’re still working very hard and keeping our fitness up, we have a real strength focus in the gym as well, just to make sure we’re not dropping off when we hit the court again.”

In conjunction with Lightning training, Koenen will also spend some time in the Queensland Sapphire Series playing for USC Thunder over the break to keep up match fitness.

She made her first appearance for the university’s new netball side earlier this week and feels she benefited from the four quarters.

“It makes it all the more exciting to be able to get out on court and try a few different things, get creative against quality opposition,” she said.

“In terms of keeping my match fitness where it needs to be… just being able to get out on court whenever I can – and hit out nearly a full game on the weekend.

“It’s awesome for my confidence, being able to do the work out on court but then also settle on the shot and hopefully put those goals through the net.”

Teammate Annika Lee-Jones also donned USC Thunder colours on Tuesday, playing at the other end of the court.

The goal keeper is using the increased minutes as an opportunity to push for more court time in the back half of the Suncorp Super Netball series.

“It’s definitely awesome to get more court time and to practice what we’re doing in training out there,” Lee-Jones said.

“I’ll take all the court time I can get to prove myself, I think it’s definitely a possibility that I could be getting on court more [in the second half of the season].

“I think I’m in a position now where I can take the court and do my job well.

“Obviously getting on court and actually being in that game situation is a different story, but I have confidence in my ability to get out there and get the job done.”

Five Lightning players will take to the international stage in the Vitality World Cup 2019, which will run from July 12 to July 21 in Liverpool. You can watch all of the Australian Samsung Diamonds matches on Channel 9’s Wide World Of Sports, while all VWC19 matches will be streamed live on 9Now.

Get down to support Annika and Cara and the USC Thunder at USC Stadium on Sunday 7 July 2019 from 4:50pm