Lightning prepare for a tough start to campaign
NETBALL: While a tough campaign on the road looms for Sunshine Coast Lightning in 2019, newly crowned Queensland coach of the year Noeline Taurua says it'll be more than worth it.
The club's home at USC Stadium is currently undergoing a six-month long redevelopment to add 1000 extra seats plus other facilities.
It's an upgrade which won't be finished before the season starts on April 27, resulting in the club negotiating with Netball Australia to reschedule their home games to later on the calendar.
They'll have to endure a number of away games before earning home court advantage, but to do so in front of a larger crowd with new facilities would be worth the wait.
"We're looking forward to seeing the final draw come out and it is going to be tough,” Taurua said.
"We're looking at starting stronger than we have over the last two seasons so there's lot of strategic planning as to how we're going to do that but the final outcome of us having extra people in our stadium and what that means to us as a club, its training facilities and also the Sunny Coast is amazing.
"Sometimes a little pain is great for a great game and we're looking forward to seeing what the stadium looks like at the end.”
Although a rough start, it could also mean a string of home appearances.
"It will end up perfectly, especially going into the four-week break and with the balance of draw and us probably getting two or three home games in row that's going to be very valuable,” she said.
Taurua was awarded the state's top coaching accolade during the Queensland Sport Awards on Wednesday night.
"It's definitely an honour. Personally I don't like these sort of things but when I look at the calibre of people that were involved in Queensland sport, also I think for us in general, in regards to the club and Sunny Coast, it's great to get out there and represent them and is such a cool thing for Lightning and the Sunshine Coast as well.”
The Lightning were also finalists in three other categories including administrator of the year (CEO Danielle Smith), team of the year and athlete of year (Stephanie Wood).
"It's really pleasing for the Sunny Coast and for our club and community and to have so many people up as finalists,” Taurua said.