MOVING ON: Caitlin Bassett in action at University of the Sunshine Coast against the Giants.
MOVING ON: Caitlin Bassett in action at University of the Sunshine Coast against the Giants. John McCutcheon

Shock departures: Superstar duo to leave Lightning

NETBALL: Sunshine Coast Lightning have lost two of its foundation players with the departures of superstars Caitlin Bassett and Geva Mentor. 

Australian captain Bassett is Sydney-bound while our England international Mentor cited family reasons behind her decision. 

Acting Head Coach Kylee Byrne said she was appreciative of everything the duo had contributed to Lightning since its inception and wished the players all the best in their future careers.

"Both Geva and Caitlin have been instrumental in the development of our Club and its values and we have shared plenty of great moments on and off the court over the past two years," Byrne said.

"While we're sad to see them go, we're also excited for what the future holds and are looking forward to announcing our full 2019 line-up over the coming days."

Mentor said the decision had not been an easy one to make and she would look back on her time at Lightning with fond memories.

"It's with a heavy heart I farewell the people I consider family; not just my team and Club, but also the Sunny Coast community," Mentor said.

"It's been an incredible two years. My netball has been reinvigorated, my heart warmed and my soul brimming with amazing memories.

"I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge every single Sunny Coaster who has backed me and the Lightning team.

"You've embraced our team and have been proud of what we have achieved, and I know you will continue to support the amazing people at the Club that will carry on the legacy we started."

Geva Mentor has cited family reasons behind her decision to leave the Sunshine Coast Lightning.
Geva Mentor has cited family reasons behind her decision to leave the Sunshine Coast Lightning. Warren Lynam


 

EARLIER: The signature of the most wanted woman in Super Netball has been secured in a giant coup for NSW netball.

Australia captain Caitlin Bassett will on Tuesday be confirmed as the star signing of a Giants club hoping to make it third time lucky in the elite netball competition in 2019.

And in Bassett they have found a player who knows how to get the job done with the Diamonds gun part of the winning Sunshine Coast Lightning team the past two years.

The signing is also a significant get for the state of netball in NSW with Bassett a major drawcard for netball fans.

It comes less than 24 hours after the Lightning announced acclaimed mid-courter Laura Langman would make a return to the Coast club next year.

Bassett's decision to move south for the 2019 season is the biggest news in netball since Super Netball teams were allowed to sign players from rival clubs post the grand final late last month.

What will Bassett leaving the Lightning mean for the reining premiers?

This poll ended on 05 September 2018.

Current Results

It might affect their chances at three in a row.

50%

They'll be fine, they have a lot of strong players.

25%

Not sure, it depends on who she's replaced with.

25%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Bassett, who led Australia at the Commonwealth Games, was rumoured as a potential Giants over a week ago.

The Giants have fallen short in their goal of winning Super Netball in both 2017 and 2018.

The first year of the competition they were beaten by Lightning in the grand final and this year were downed by Bassett and her old teammates in the preliminary final.

Bassett will be a perfect fit for a side which will head into 2019 without veterans Susan Pettitt, a former shooting teammate of Bassett with the Diamonds, and defender Bec Bulley.

Lightning's 2019 team will again be coached by Noeline Taurua who last week was named Silver Ferns coach.

Having the Diamonds captain playing under the coach of Australian netball's biggest rival may have been viewed as a less than ideal circumstance in a world cup year.

Interestingly, the move to the Giants will now see her play alongside England's leading shooter, Jo Harten who has also resigned with the Giants.



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