TOP COACH: Noeline Taurua is critical to Lightning's success.
TOP COACH: Noeline Taurua is critical to Lightning's success. John McCutcheon

Lightning's most important signature to-date

NETBALL: If you look carefully at the Lightning dress, you will notice each player has their own number (1-14) underneath the Club logo.

While some athletes would have you think it is a ranking of the coaching staff's favourites (you wish Steph Wood), it in-fact represents the order in which we signed the dotted line to be a part of the inaugural Sunshine Coast Lightning team.

There is however, one integral member of the side who doesn't have a number and that is our very first signing, head coach, Noeline Taurua.

'Noels' as she is affectionately known, is the reason why we have such a fantastic team.

A former Silver Fern, her experience playing at an elite level and her holistic approach to coaching have been a major drawcard in attracting the best players to the Coast.

When Noels first called me about joining the foundation club I was a little wary - traditionally Kiwis and Diamonds have been fierce rivals.

However, her knowledge of the game, success in coaching and passion to put the best team together meant it was too good an opportunity to pass up.

The best thing about Noels is her laid back personality. Relocating from Auckland with her husband and four of her five children, family is a huge part of her life and I believe the reason she is such a good coach. The Lightning players are like an extension of her family.

Coming off the back of our very first win at home, the squad will pack its bags and head to Adelaide for the first-ever clash with the Thunderbirds.

Playing away from USC Stadium will pose a new challenge.

The support at Sippy Downs on Sunday was sensational and having friends, family, members and fans cheering us on was incredible. That backing has set the tone for Lightning's inaugural season.

Light It Up!



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