NETBALL: Renowned coach Noeline Taurua says the energy at Sunshine Coast Lightning this pre-season is like nothing she's seen before.
In promising signs for the region's new team - and in ominous signs for its rivals - the players are training the house down ahead of next year's Suncorp Super Netball.
"The intensity and the level that they work at is very high, higher than I've ever experienced at any other teams I've been involved with," Taurua said.
That's a big call, given the experienced campaigner has been involved in the game for decades.
The 48-year-old has guided major teams Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic and Southern Steel to success and was assistant coach to the New Zealand national team.
But the enthusiasm at the new club is remarkable.
"They players are just really excited about the Lightning and they're excited to be here so it's a good start for us," she said.
"They're all here for a purpose and a reason and that varies but (it's) definitely about performance, about winning and being competitive."
The 10 players arrived on the Coast at various times from November 4, with star goal shooter Caitlin Bassett completing the squad a week ago.
"I'm really happy with what we've been able to put together on the court in such a short time," the coach said.
'Their competitive nature has come to the forefront in regards to training and in regards to training with intensity.
"They will work hard and unless you tell them to stop they will keep going, so the heart is definitely there."
Taurua said the players want to do the region proud.
"They want to do well for Sunshine Coast and knowing we're the first team ever here, there is responsibility that goes towards that," she said.
It seems there are three front-runners for the captaincy.
"It's only been the first week (together as a complete squad) so I will let it play out and see what happens in regards to the chemistry both on and off the court but were very lucky we've got experienced campaigners in the likes of Geva (Mentor), Laura Langman and also Caitlin," Taurua said.
"They're all senior leaders in their international teams so we're not short on leadership out there.
"It's now just about working through what's going to be the right structure that's going to work for this team."
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