23/04/2024
Sunshine Coast Lightning's Maddy McAuliffe says the team is starting to bond as a pre-season trial against the Firebirds looms,

A new Suncorp Super Netball season means a new opportunity for success for Sunshine Coast Lightning’s Maddy McAuliffe as a trial game against the Firebirds looms.

Lightning will enter the 2021 campaign without stalwart Laura Langman, who retired at the end of 2020 but retain a host of exciting stars who have been part of the club for a number of years.

According to McAuliffe, the Lighting will be able to benchmark themselves in their first hit out before Suncorp Super Netball kicks off in May.

“The Firebirds are always a great team to play, so we’re really excited to get down to Morayfield and have a game against them for the first hit out of the year,” she said.

“As much as we want to put out a good performance on the court, it’s also our first match of the year.

“Of course we want to put out a good performance but it’s more a benchmark to see where we are at this point of the year.”

As the Lightning gear up for its first match of the year, McAuliffe said former captain and centre Laura Langman left a greater hole than just the captaincy.

“Yeah obviously a lot of change throughout the year with Laws leaving the team,” she said.

“But I think with [midcourters] Mahalia (Cassidy) coming to the team and Ash Unie stepping up from a training partner into the team they’ll slot into those positions really well on court.

“I always love this time of the season especially with some of the new girls coming in, we’ve really bonded.

“It’s also our time as a club to really get to know each other and establish new connections and finding out that we have new sponsors is something really exciting as well.”

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