Cara Koenen of the Lightning in action against Adelaide Thunderbirds at USC Stadium. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Cara Koenen of the Lightning in action against Adelaide Thunderbirds at USC Stadium. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Koenen savours journey to decider

NETBALL: While she's enjoyed a breakout year on court, Lightning sharpshooter Cara Koenen says she's eager to play whatever role is needed in the season decider, even if that's on the bench.

The Sunshine Coast will take on Swifts in the Super Netball grand final this Sunday and a silverware hat-trick is on the cards.

Koenen, a foundation player, spent most of the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the bench behind Diamonds duo Caitlin Bassett and Stephanie Wood but has enjoyed a far greater role this campaign.

The 23-year-old enjoyed friendly competition with teammate Peace Proscovia for the goalshooter role and said her game has gone to new heights.

"I put in a lot of hours at the post and did a lot of hard work behind the scenes to be able to get to this point," she said.

"12 months ago was completely different not only in the way I played but maturity out on court and leadership among our group."

While she said this weekend's decider was just as special as Lightning's first, Koenen admitted it would garner extra meaning having played a greater role in the outfit's journey this year.

"I'm definitely not undermining the role that I played in the last couple of years but I think the prospect of getting out there (in the final) and actually doing the fun bit (would be great).

"I think it'll be a different feeling but I'm still as elated as I was the first year (to be in the decider)."

Koenen said she would be happy to do whatever was needed come the first centre pass to help her outfit get the win.

"It'd be awesome to be able to have that experience in a big game like a grand final in Suncorp Super Netball, but whatever role the coaches ask me to play, whether that's on court or on the bench, I'm going to give it my all," she said.

"Peace and I have worked really well changing up momentum in each game throughout the year and we offer very different things. So, I definitely think that'll be utilised which is a great thing for us to have and a great asset for us."



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