Byrne buoyed by returning stars

Picture: sunshinecoastlightning.com.au

Sunshine Coast Lightning coach Kylee Byrne voiced some frustrations about shooter Cara Koenan, who is currently unable to return to Queensland after her strong debut for the Diamonds at the Constellations Cup in New Zealand.

Byrne said she is currently waiting to return to Queensland, and doesn’t know when that will happen.

“You’ll have to ask the Premier that, we’re waiting and it’s actually a very stressful time,” she said.

“Because they [the Diamonds] did everything right.

“They didn’t go to Auckland, they went to Christchurch, and they were in a bubble and yet they still can’t return.

“So we’re really frustrated, she [Koenan]’s really frustrated. So we’ve just had to house her in another state until she can return.”

Byrne also spoke about Koenan’s strong performance that saw her named MVP in Game 2 of the Series.

“When you get those opportunities, you just don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said.

“Thankfully she went the way that we all knew she would, put her hand up and looked totally at home in the green and gold.

“To get that MVP in Game 2 as well is a huge achievement.

“It sets up her SSN season so well and we can’t wait to get her back.”

In the meantime, sister club Melbourne Storm have stepped in to help with Koenan as well.

“She [Koenan]’s been in Sydney but we’ve actually moved her to Melbourne, she went down to be with Storm and do some work in their gym and they’re going to look after her for a couple of days,” Byrne said.

“We also made the decision to give her a bit of leave to spend some time with family in Melbourne, but bags are packed, so as soon as the borders are open, we’ll book her the first flight back for her to come home.”

With the Suncorp Super Netball season fast approaching, Byrne is also ready for the return of key international players in Karla Pretorius and Phumza Maweni.

The pair have arrived back in Brisbane to start their 14 day quarantine, and Byrne, along with the rest of the Lightning, is excited to see them back.

“They’ve landed back in Australia, there’s some huge sighs of relief from everyone at the club,” she said.

“We were stalking the flight from Doha a couple of days ago, and when we saw it had taken off, certainly a scream of excitement right in the middle of training.

“We’ll see them in two weeks.

Byrne hopes to have the pair, and Koenan back for some pre-season matches.

“At this point it’s planned for about four or five pre-season games where we’ll have the full ten together,” she said.

About Thomas Grattan 109 Articles
Thomas is a journalist whom you'll often see writing and talking all things Aussie Rules. He also writes on a range of other sports including Netball and Basketball.

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