Tara Hinchliffe (Photo: Sunshine Coast Lightning)

Tara Hinchliffe will return to the court for the 2024 Super Netball season after re-signing with the Sunshine Coast Lightning.

Hinchliffe tore her ACL for a second time in the Team Girls Cup in February 2023. It looked like an ankle injury at first, but the devastating news ruled her out for the 2023 season.

The 25-year-old was riding on a high. Her Lightning and FAST5 campaign got her out on court to debut for the Diamonds in the 2023 Quad Series.

Hinchliffe debuted in 2018 with the Queensland Firebirds and was taken under the wing by netball great Laura Geitz. Before signing her first contract, Hinchliffe was a training partner and member of the Australia Under 21 squad.

The strong defender was also in the Australia Under 17 and 19 squad from 2015 to 2017. Hinchliffe represented Queensland at nationals and captain both top age years. She was a part of the Queensland Fusion side in 2016 and 2017.

Hichliffe is eager to return to the court and see where the journey takes her. She is wanting to build connections first, then set the eye in for a premiership.

“I can’t wait to run out on court again in 2024, and to be able to do that in a Lightning dress is extra special. I want to repay the club, the fans and our team for sticking by me in 2023 and riding the rollercoaster with me,” she said.

“Everyone’s support has meant a lot, and I’ve been working hard to be ready to go for the new season.

“I’m looking forward to building on our first season under ‘B’ (Belinda Reynolds) and ‘Jeno’ (Jenny Brazel), and making connections with our new teammates who are joining. Our Sunny Coast supporters are unmatched so I’m definitely excited to see them all again!”

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Head Coach Belinda Reynolds can’t wait for Hinchliffe return to the court and is excited to see what she can produce this season along the likes of Courtney Bruce.

“Tarzy has been such an important leader for us this past year while she’s been rehabbing her knee. Her ability to continue to lead while sitting on the sideline is truly commendable and demonstrates the respect her teammates have for her,” Reynolds said.

“Her defensive smarts and strength will be an important asset to us in 2024 and I am looking forward to seeing her back on the court again stronger than ever.”

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