Russell to join the Lightning ten

With 19 days until the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season officially kicks off, Lightning has announced permanent replacement player Jacqui Russell will join the squad for the remainder of the season.

Following the recent announcement confirming Sarahpheinna Woulf will miss the season after suffering an ACL injury, the Club has been faced with the challenging task of selecting the final player to complete the Lightning squad.

“Unfortunately, Sarahpheinna sustained a knee injury at training with the QLD U19 team last month, although it’s a disappointing outcome, we know she’ll bounce back stronger. We are working very closely with Fina on her recovery and it’s going really well,” Lightning Assistant Coach Kylee Byrne said.

“We have an exciting athlete coming in to the ten for the remainder of the season. We’ve invited Jacqui Russell into the team, our newest training partner and a Queenslander through and through. Jacqui is a very experienced athlete who has played at an elite level previously in the Trans-Tasman and English Super League competitions.

“I’ve coached Jacqui for a few years now and her netball brain is impressive, she is always that player wanting to know how to shut opposition down and why you do things. On court she has a real doggedness in wing defence which is exactly what you want, and she can play all through the centre court.

She only joined us a month ago and straight away you would think she had been here right from the start of the Club.”

Russell recently joined the team on the pre-season trip to New Zealand and has had some strong court time already playing against the Southern Steel and Diamonds.

“I’m really excited. It’s a bit of a second chance for me. I’ve been wanting to get back to this level for a few years and I’m really looking forward to seeing how I’ve improved,” Russell said.

“I think I’m a consistent and reliable player. I’m prepared to put in the work and do the hard one-on-one work in the centre court and try and cut down their attacking game. I think I’m also quite composed and level headed.

My goal in netball for a long time has been about getting better, always improving and now working with such quality players and coaches I’m interested to see how much I can grow. I’m sure their skills and knowledge will rub off on me!”

The team will take to the court in a Grand Final rematch against the GIANTS in Round 1 on Sunday 29 April in Sydney.

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