The Sunshine Coast Lightning have added Reilley Batcheldor to its 2022 team. (@sc_lightning - Twitter)

Reilley Batchelor will make her long-awaited return to Super Netball in 2024 with the Sunshine Coast Lightning.

The 21-year-old suffered her second ACL injury in the Australian National Championships in late 2022, which caused her to miss the entirety of the 2023 season to focus on rehab. Batcheldor first did her ACL in her other knee in 2019, playing in the Vicki Wilson tournament.

Regardless of injuries, Batcheldor tore up the Lightning scene in 2022, shooting the lights out. The long-range specialist was as cool as a cucumber out on the court and not afraid to shoot from anywhere.

Batcheldor played for the Brisbane South Wildcats in the HART Sapphire Series, winning a premiership in 2019. She then went to the Carina Club Tigers in the Ruby Series while returning from her second ACL rupture. In 2021, Batcheldor signed with the now-disbanded QUT side and quickly rose up the ranks.

Batcheldor represented Queensland at Under 15s, 17s and 19, as well as being part of the Australia Under 17s, 19s and 21 squad. She played for the Queensland Sapphires in the Born to Shine series while being a training partner with the Queensland Firebirds.

Batcheldor can’t wait to get back out on the court and work with Head Coach Belinda Reynolds for the first time.

“Lightning and the Sunshine Coast is home for me and I couldn’t imagine playing anywhere else,” she said.

“This Club and the community created here is something truly special and something that every player wants to be part of.

“I am also so grateful for how supported I’ve been during my rehab and can’t wait to return the favour on court in 2024.”

“Finding out I had a contract for 2024 was a huge relief for me. With not playing in 2023 due to injury I was anxious about receiving a contract and felt I hadn’t had the opportunity to prove myself.

“I’m looking forward to bringing a Suncorp Super Netball Premiership home to the Sunshine Coast… but also getting back out on court and showcasing what I’ve been building towards for the past 12 plus months.

“I’m also looking forward to working with Belinda for the first time — experiencing her coaching style and executing her formidable game plan.”

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Reynolds is excited for Batcheldor to run back out on court after missing the 2023 season.

“We are thrilled to welcome Roo (Reilley) back into the Lightning outfit after taking a year off to rehab her knee. I’ve seen the hard work she’s put in to reach this point and it’s heartwarming to see it pay off,” she said.

“While still only young, Roo plays very smart netball and is cool, calm and collected in high-pressure situations. Her ability to score super shots is also so important in the SSN and she brings an extra headache for the competition’s defenders to think about.”

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