Training Partner Sienna ‘Spoilt For Choice’ With Mentors
Sienna Allen turned up on day one of training this season ready to learn.
With year one of her apprenticeship as a Sunshine Coast Lightning training partner complete, the defender now has a frame of reference of what to expect.
As a defender, the 20-year-old is well aware that she has two of the best to learn off in Lightning Vice Captain Karla Pretorius and fellow South African defender Phumza Maweni.
However, Allen believes every single player and person at Lightning offers a unique perspective to draw upon, regardless of the letters on a bib.
“Every player in that squad of ten I can learn something from,” Allen said, “…especially having Laura [Langman] and Karla Pretorius to learn off.
“Also Lightning has incredible goalies with Peace [Proscovia], Cara [Koenen] and Steph [Wood], they are all world class goalies and they all play differently. So, as a defender, getting to train on them is awesome – it challenges me.”
Retaining the core group of ten players in the main squad, as well as fellow training partners Ashlee Unie and Binnian Hunt returning means the team can really continue to build on gains made in 2019.
For Allen that means building muscle in the gym and finessing her defensive craft so that she can shift seamlessly between Goalkeeper and Goal Defence.
“For me I really want to build on that Goal Defence role, so I can play two positions equally,” she said.
“My goal is just to learn on court, off court it is to get some good gains in the gym.
“The speed and physicality of the game is progressing so rapidly in Suncorp Super Netball… this year is quite critical for me.
“[Eventually breaking into the Lightning squad] is one of my goals and I am working hard to get there – I’m excited to learn this year.”
But the South Australian knows her place in the team is not just about her own development – Allen also acknowledges that as training partner, she plays a pivotal role in helping the team develop and perfect structures, strategies and combinations.
“I’m here to learn and to provide that extra person in training for them to grow as well… that’s my role this year for the team,” she said.