READY: Sharp-shooter Caitlin Bassett has arrived on the Sunshine Coast to train as a Lightning player.
READY: Sharp-shooter Caitlin Bassett has arrived on the Sunshine Coast to train as a Lightning player. John McCutcheon

Coast netball team a force to be reckoned with

NETBALL: They've quietly assembled one of the strongest line-ups in the league so how is the jewel in the Sunshine Coast Lightning's crown coping with the pressure?

Goalshooter Caitlin Bassett has only just joined her Lightning teammates.

The Diamonds star will be the strike weapon the Coast team relies heavily upon in its debut season in the revamped National Netball League.

World-class mid-courter Laura Langman called it early at yesterday's media call, labelling Bassett the world's best.

Her excitement at being able to link with the sharp-shooter was palpable.

With bookies starting to take note of the strength of the Lightning line-up, any hope of the Coast side slipping under the radar appears slim.

But try telling that to the 193cm-listed superstar.

Affable, disarming and casually confident, Bassett slipped into training with her new side like an old pro yesterday.

The former West Coast Fever star is living in Mountain Creek, to be close to the University of the Sunshine Coast, the Lightning's key training base.

She said she was loving being close to the beach and coffee shops, the only thing she was getting used to was the early east coast mornings.

"It's good, it's definitely some earlier starts than I've expected, the sun comes up at 4.30am-5am, so I've been up very early which is a nice change for me,” Bassett said.

A sniper in the circle, Bassett said she'd been getting antsy waiting to join her new teammates.

She took a well-earned break after the Constellation Cup series, jetting off to America and was recently engaged, but she said she was eager to get to the Coast and start training, enjoying the international flavour to the Lightning squad.

"It was good, our first session, I didn't know what to expect and it was fantastic,” Bassett said.

"I don't want to give too much away, but we tried out some new moves and we put that together with a bit of court play and getting to work with the likes of Laura Langman and Geva Mentor who normally I'm playing against is a nice change.”

As for Langman, she admitted the shift from NSW Swifts to the Lightning was a "massive risk”, but one she was excited to have taken, even if there were a few tears while she was making her decision.

"I've always been big about stepping into the darkness and finding out what's actually in there,” she said.

She said the chance to play under Noeline Taurua and maintain her combination with fellow former Swift Stephanie Wood, as well as feed the "best shooter in the world” was too good to pass up.


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