Cara Koenen has signed on with the Sunshine Coast Lightning until the end of 2023.

Cara Koenen has signed on with the Sunshine Coast Lightning until the end of 2023. (Image: Sunshine Coast Lightning/Twitter)

Inaugural squad member Cara Koenen is the first signing announced by the Sunshine Coast Lightning for the 2022 Suncorp Super Netball Season.

Star shooter Cara Koenen is the first player announced for the 2022 season for the Sunshine Coast Lightning. For all the Suncorp Super Netball signing news, stay up to date with our Off-Season Hub and follow The Inner Sanctum’s netball podcast, Over a Third, on Twitter and Instagram to get the news when it breaks.

Koenen has signed a two year deal with the club to remain tied to the only Super Netball club she has played for until the end of 2023. It comes off the back of a career-best season where Koenen scored 517 goals as the Lightning made the finals for the fifth consecutive year.

Her reputation on the court has grown, as she has returned to the Diamonds squad for their series against the English Roses after a successful debut series in the 2021 Constellation Cup in March.

Koenen’s reputation off the court has grown as well, as she was recognised as the Player’s Player and Member’s Player at the end of season awards for the Lightning recently.

Koenen, a Magnetic Island native, expressed her delight at returning to the club where she has made her name, and where she celebrated playing 50 games earlier this season.

“Lightning holds such a special place in my heart and I’m glad to continue my time at the Sunshine Coast for the next two seasons,” the shooter said.

“I’m really enjoying my netball at the moment and the challenge of drawing some of the best defenders each week.

“There’s a lot of excitement building towards 2022 and I’m confident our Lightning team have a lot to offer with a mix of returning and new faces.”

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Lightning coach Kylee Byrne, who recently announced her own two year extension, was thrilled to have Koenen returning.

“To see what Cara has achieved in the past two seasons especially has been so pleasing and I have no doubt there is plenty of improvement to come as she adds new dimensions to her game,” Byrne said.

“Cara is not afraid of hard work and while there has always been incredible raw talent, it’s that dedication to her craft that has elevated her status to one of the best shooters in the world.

“I’ve really enjoyed watching her discover her voice and take on the responsibility of being a senior member of our team and consistently leading by example.”

Koenen’s announcement is the first by the Lightning for the 2022 season, with nine more players to be added to the squad.

The Lightning had previously announced that Peace Proscovia, Phumza Maweni and Maddy McAuliffe would not be returning for 2022, creating a number of gaps on the roster, as well as former training partner Binnian Hunt who has taken up a contract in New Zealand.

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