A second pre-season in Sunshine Coast Lightning colours excites Mahalia Cassidy.
Now she understands the environment and expectations of the Club, the midcourter is eager to build on last season and prime herself for her biggest season yet.
“I’m actually really just excited to get another pre-season up here,” Cassidy said.
“When changing programs there’s a bit of tweaking at the start, so I’ve had that with the first season.
“Hopefully I can have a smooth pre-season and get better, stronger, more powerful headed into a new year with Lightning.”
Head Coach Kylee Byrne is putting players through their paces with a tailored pre-season campaign involving double sessions every second week but Cassidy is enjoying the challenge.
“We are in our double week this week, so we’re training twice a day and there’s a lot happening,” she said.
“It’s hard but we’re getting through it – It’s about being a professional athlete.”
“For me personally I didn’t have anything after the season, so I’ve been lucky to have a few months off. I had some time away from the netball court and I feel really refreshed leading into another season.”
The midcourter has spent time at Wing Attack, Centre and Wing Defence in the Suncorp Super Netball and enjoys the versatility.
Her primary focus is on playing her role for the team, so with new faces across the midcourt and defence end in 2022 Cassidy is happy with whatever midcourt opportunities come her way.
“I say to Kylee all the time I don’t care where I play as long as I’m contributing to the team,” she said.
“At the end of the day, I’m happy to do whatever best fits.
“I like to play all three roles in the midcourt and I guess that’s the best thing about the team – we have so many different options in all positions.
“It keeps the opposition guessing.”
Laura Scherian and Cassidy formed a formidable pairing last season when in Wing Attack and Centre respectively, but also enjoyed developing her defensive game.
The introduction of Annie Miller, a former GIANTS Netball Training Partner, will also increase the versatility of the Lightning midcourt.
“I love it – the more competition there is, the better we are,” she said.
“It’s great to have Annie up here, she’s young, she’s fresh, she’ll bring a variety of new skills.
“It’s great to have her join in the training this week – she’s just come out of quarantine.
“I’m so excited to play with her and also to continue forming that connection with Shez (Laura Scherian).
“I think there will be a real mix up this year and I think that’s the challenge we’re really looking for.”