Lightning celebrates five years as Kylee Byrne signs on for 2022/23

THE Sunshine Coast Lightning are undoubtably the most successful Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) club in the competition, with five years of history and five years of finals berths to prove it. Whilst both 2020 and 2021 saw the Lightning’s finals chance ended prematurely – with both seasons seeing plenty of disruptions due to COVID and resulting lockdowns – the club has set the tone for not only how to build a successful team from the ground up, but also continue that success over a number of years, despite facing its fair share of hardship on the trade table.

Many expected the team’s success to finish with the loss of Geva Mentor and Caitlin Bassett at the end of 2018, and then once again following Noeline Taurua‘s departure at the end of 2019. But that did not stop the team from succeeding, with the side continuing to be a powerhouse and setting the standard with their winning ability and star performers. Five years in the competition has seen the Lightning become back-to-back premierships in 2017 and 2018, with another grand final berth in 2019.

Whilst the 2020 and 2021 seasons have not quite seen the same success during the finals, the squad is shaping up to go one step further in the coming years – and that means retaining their highly successful coach. In exciting news coming out of the club this week during the Lightning’s fifth birthday celebrations, head coach Kylee Byrne has signed on for another two seasons.

“I have an incredible amount of faith in what this team is capable of and there is so much upside that we are yet to see from this core group,” Byrne said in a Lightning press release.

“I am honoured to be the head coach for at least another two seasons at Lightning and can’t wait to explore ways in which we can innovate and improve again next year to be even better.”

Lightning CEO Danielle Smith commended Byrne for her commitment and continued success throughout the tough past two seasons, which hit all eight SSN clubs hard.

“Lightning is in great hands under an excellent technical coach in Kylee Byrne for an additional two seasons,” Smith said. “What makes her a great coach is the combination of her sharp analytical mind as well as her people-first mentality and holistic approach.”

“As a foundation staff member, Kylee was a key part of not only establishing the Club and its culture but also in continuing to drive standards and accountability across the group.”

“What continues to impress me about Kylee is her dedication to personal and professional development and her innate ability to connect with our people in and around the Club – be they a player, colleague, sponsor or one of our beloved Members.”

“I have complete confidence that she is the right person to take this Club forward in its next phase of success, through her influence and impact both on and off court.”


Picture credit: Sunshine Coast Lightning

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