Swifts sending strong squad to Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast will hold a closed training session with former ANZ Championship Premiers, New South Wales Swifts on Thursday 22 February.

Lightning Coach Noeline Taurua said she was delighted Swifts had chosen Sunshine Coast as part of the Club’s pre-season build-up.

“Both teams will be able to test their match-day routines and tinker with game-day preparation so it will be beneficial for both outfits,” Taurua said.

“Their group was one of the real movers and shakers in 2017 and we have the utmost respect for the squad.

“There is a solid pathway system in place in New South Wales and if Swifts can build on that then they will be a real threat in Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) this season.

While Lightning has remained relatively unchanged for season two of SSN, the Sydney-based Club has welcomed Kate Eddy and Sophie Garbin to the fold. Perhaps the biggest movement however is in the coaching ranks with former top-level netballer, Briony Akle replacing Rob Wright in charge.

The prospect of a training run with Lightning at its home base is too good to pass up according to the new Coach

“It is very important for our players to test themselves against the best and being the reigning Premiers, the Sunshine Coast Lightning are certainly that,” Akle said.

“In people like Caitlin Bassett and Geva Mentor, Lightning have some of the world’s best and we will be looking to get a good hit-out as our preparations for Suncorp Super Netball really go up a notch.

“What I will be looking for from this trip are signs that our athletes are moving on from being a team of rookies to contenders.”

The personnel changes make the young Swifts squad even more dangerous according to former New South Wales Goal Attack, Steph Wood.

“They are an exciting team. They were competitive last season and I do not think where they finished on the ladder is a true reflection of their talent,” said Wood.

“Maddy Turner, Paige Hadley and Sarah Klau have Australian experience now and that time in the national set-up will help their side immensely.

“Another year together building combinations will help them plus the addition of promising defender, Kate Eddy and ANL Player of the Year Sophie Garbin will boost their shooting stocks.”

The closed session will take place at USC Stadium.