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She's a Keeper.. and a Captain

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Sunshine Coast Lightning has appointed Geva Mentor as the Captain of the foundation Club for the 2017 Suncorp Super Netball competition.

The Goal Keeper was a standout for England in this year’s Netball Quad Series and has represented the Roses on 119 occasions, including four World Championship campaigns and the 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The Guardian’s World Netball Player of the Year in 2014, Mentor was also part of two premiership-winning teams during the former Trans-Tasman Netball League, and her big-game experience will be invaluable for the Coast Club.

The 32-year-old said it was “extra special” to be Captaining the Sunshine Coast’s first-ever professional sporting team.

“It’s an honour to even be considered and the most important thing for me is that the players were a part of the process,” Mentor said.

“I take a lot of confidence from that, knowing the athletes see leadership qualities in me and I’m eager to live up to their expectations.

“It’s important I be myself and not try and emulate someone else. I hope my calm demeanour and approachability will help get the best out of my teammates.”

Mentor will be supported by 2016 New Zealand Player of the Year Laura Langman and Australian Diamond Goal Shooter Caitlin Bassett who form Lightning’s leadership team.

“Having Laura and Caitlin alongside me, with their experience, wealth of knowledge and leadership qualities, I think it’s a fantastic group,” Mentor explained.

“There are a lot of leaders on and off the court. It’s important I help develop them and encourage them to flourish.

“Being the first elite sports team in this region, we want to make sure the brand of netball we put out there is something the community is proud of.”

Lightning Coach Noeline Taurua said the selection panel was meticulous and the interview process was thorough.

“The players voted on the Captaincy as well as the CEO (Danielle Smith), the Assistant Coach (Kylee Byrne) and myself and this is the result,” Taurua said.

“The quality of people at our Club is exceptional and the process the players went through identified more potential leaders which is fantastic.

“I want a person who sets an example on and off the court and someone who will lead from the front and that’s Geva.

“She is aware of the culture we are trying to build here which is one that allows everyone to have a voice and one which maximises the strengths of individuals.”

Mentor will Captain the Club for the first time on Saturday 18 February against Queensland Firebirds in Round 1 of the Suncorp Super Netball competition.

Tickets can be bought here.

Tickets to Lightning’s first three home matches at USC Stadium can be bought here.

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