Diamonds in sights of Coast's new netball team
NETBALL: They have a name, colours, a top coach and significant backing. Now, the Sunshine Coast's elite team needs some players and Australian Diamonds are on the hit list.
The franchise, which is set to feature in a new-look national league next year, introduced itself to the region's fans at the Innovation Centre on Wednesday.
Amid some fanfare, it announced it will be known as the Sunshine Coast Lightning.
A joint venture of NRL giant Melbourne Storm and the University of the Sunshine Coast, there are high expectations from the team, which is supported by Sunshine Coast Council.
Are you a fan of the new netball team's name?
This poll ended on 23 August 2016.
Yes, I think it suits the Storm brand and logo nicely.
No, I think we should have something more Coastal.
The name doesn't matter as long as the team is good.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
It will boast the same colours as the Storm - black, yellow and purple - and will play at the university's sports stadium, which will be upgraded to a capacity of 2200.
But the playing roster is a work in progress.
Storm CEO Dave Donaghy said the club was in discussions with some of the best.
"We're in talks with Diamonds players and other internationals as well," he said.
The side is set to join new AFL-backed teams from Melbourne and Western Sydney in the Australian competition, alongside the five existing clubs which competed in the now-disbanded trans-Tasman ANZ Championship.
"The existing clubs have a competitive advantage around (signing players). You'd expect most players to stay at their current clubs but we've identified some who we think will suit and they range from international players to local up-and-coming players," Donaghy said.
He said the Sunshine Coast's beauty was a lure to prospective players while the university provided perfect training and playing facilities as well as academic opportunities.
"We'd like to think we've made a pretty compelling case for a lot of players to want to be based up here."
Taurau's appointment could also be a selling point. The 48-year-old is a proven performer.
She told the Daily she could see no reason why her side couldn't feature in a grand final in its first year with the right players.
"I'm really confident in how I'm sitting in the discussions that I've had (with prospective players) so far," she said.
"We're looking at putting a team together that's competitive but also we need the right mix, you might have Diamonds players but also developing players."