Gabi Simpson of the Firebirds and the Lightning’s Laura Langman are fired up for the new Super Netball season. Picture: AAP
Gabi Simpson of the Firebirds and the Lightning’s Laura Langman are fired up for the new Super Netball season. Picture: AAP

Lightning reset for another shot at title

New Sunshine Coast captain Laura Langman wants the Lightning to forget about last season's title-winning run.

But Queensland Firebirds skipper Gabi Simpson wants her side to always remember 2018.

The 2019 Suncorp Super Netball season was launched on Tuesday with the eight captains gathering in Melbourne before the season-opening double header on April 27 when the Firebirds play the Melbourne Vixens and the Lightning take on Collingwood in the Victorian capital.

New Zealand superstar and midcourt powerhouse Langman missed the Lightning's 2018 title but was part of the Sunshine Coast side that won the 2017 premiership in the club's first season.

"I mean this with no disrespect in any way, when you win a premiership, it really means something at that point in time but as soon as you log on to the next pre-season, it becomes irrelevant,'' Langman said.

"For us, this is another season. Another 14 rounds up for grabs and we want to win enough games so we are in a position to compete for the premiership.

"The history of this club is wicked and will always be a part of our fabric but this year is a new story. I feel like we've made some really big steps over the last month or so since the pre-season tournament down in Brisbane, the connections and combinations are coming on.

"We're on track. The energy is high which is a good sign after a long pre-season.''

 

Sunshine Coast Lightning will start the new season with a clash against Collingwood in Melbourne on April 27. Picture: Getty Images
Sunshine Coast Lightning will start the new season with a clash against Collingwood in Melbourne on April 27. Picture: Getty Images

 

Meanwhile, Firebirds captain Simpson said the pain of the heartbreaking one-goal loss to the Lightning in the elimination final last year was driving Queensland into 2019.

The Firebirds' best netball was better than anyone in 2018 but they were unable to hit top gear often enough and were left to lament their inconsistency while their Sunshine State rivals were going back-to-back.

"Absolutely what happens in the past drives what happens in the future," Simpson said.

"One of the biggest things for us is the lessons from last year and how we use that knowledge going forward. We are excited that we get to start in just two weeks after what's been a long pre-season. For me, having all the captains together talking about their teams means it is all starting to feel very real.

"Pre-season is all about making sure that every player is ready to step on the court at any time and while all the niggling injuries have been a little bit frustrating, we have built good depth and good combinations so we take some positives into Round 1.''

News Corp Australia


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