Caitlin Bassett and Kylee Byrne share their thoughts on their ‘home’ grand final at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.
By Amber-Louise Sleight & Danielle Ford
Sunshine Coast Lightning will hold a special meet and greet tomorrow night, ahead of the Suncorp Super Netball grand final next Saturday.
The team have expressed disappointment at the grand final being held in Brisbane due to capacity restrictions at the Sippy Downs stadium.
The meet up will take place as part of the Nights on Ocean Street Markets giving the team the one last chance to thank the community for their ongoing encouragement.
Sunshine Coast Lightning assistant coach Kylee Byrne says the level of pressure and expectation increases before a grand final, but she wants the players to just enjoy it.
“The best way to enjoy something like this is to get out in the community and just hear what everyone’s saying, feel the really good vibes, the energy that’s out there,” she says.
Sunshine Coast Lightning goal shooter Caitlin Bassett says locals’ enthusiasm is part of the reason they have made it to the grand final.
“I think this week alone, just going down to get coffee or going to the shops, people have been coming up and congratulating us, or said good luck,” she says.
“I know that there’s gonna be a function… to say thank you to all the fans and members, it’s been a big part of our success this year.”
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson says the council is proud of what the team has contributed to the community.
“The event will be the perfect opportunity to showcase our support and celebrate our Sunshine Coast Lightning team,” he says.
“One of the major benefits of being part of this ground-breaking new national competition is the impact it has had, and will continue to have, on our grassroots netball.
“A young girl playing netball fixtures here on the Sunshine Coast can not only dream of making it all the way to the national team without leaving home, they can make it happen.”
Bassett says the team plans to watch the preliminary final between the Giants and the Vixens on Saturday at the Alex Surf Club.
“Obviously we’re not sure who we’re gonna play against, so it’s a chance to check out the opposition, have a look at what both of them do in a pressure situation,” she says.
The grand final will be held at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Saturday, June 17 at 7pm.
It will be aired on Channel 9.
According to assistant coach Kylee Byrne being in the grand final as a new club is ‘surreal’.
Caitlin Bassett explains how she prepares for game day and the difference between domestic and international finals.