Lightning pair eager to lead by example
NETBALL: Sunshine Coast Lightning's newly appointed on-court leaders believe their actions will speak louder than words when the Super Netball season gets under way.
Laura Langman was officially announced as the team's captain at USC Stadium on Monday, with Karla Pretorius named in the vice-captain role.
Langman was proud to receive the honour and looked to lead by example.
"I think my strength is probably in how I operate in and around the fringes. I'm probably not the one who comes up with the inspirational quote when needed. I'm more a get in and let's get it done type person,” Langman said.
"I hope I'm someone who they think if they had to go to war they'd pick me.”
Langman had previously indicated the captaincy wasn't in her sights but after a rigorous peer-driven selection process, and talks with club officials, she has more than welcomed the position.
"We sat down with the three big guns in head office and obviously discussed it and I think, although I wasn't searching for it, it is a real honour to be voted by your peers into a position like this,” she said.
"I think having the year off I've got great perspective on I know what I know and I know what I don't know and there's many a player that has been here for the three years so I'm more than fine to palm it and ask for input from others.
"I've got a big job to do in terms of my own game so that's why I think we're so lucky in Lightning that we have so many leaders that we can lean on each other whenever we need time for ourselves or we feel like we need to lift the team.”
Langman was part of Lightning's inaugural leadership group alongside Bassett and Mentor and took on the captaincy role with the Silver Ferns last year.
She returned to the club this season, with 151 test caps, and has represented New Zealand in three World Cups (2007, 2011, 2015) as well as three Commonwealth Games (2006, 2010, 2014).
Fellow foundation player Pretorius was equally as humbled to receive a leadership title and, like Langman, looked to inspire the outfit through her efforts on court.
"I'm really looking forward to this new challenge and just want the season to start now,” Pretorius said.
"I feel like I'm more of an action person rather than words.
"So, probably body language and the way you perform I think that plays a big role and that also will be a form of motivation.
"Hopefully, that will be enough but when words are required I'll get some.”
Pretorius has continued to go from strength-to-strength in her time at Lightning, named Club Player of the Year, alongside Steph Wood last year and Player of the Series in the 2019 January Quad Series. Pretorius currently holds the vice-captain role for the SPAR Proteas, has 77 international caps, and is widely recognised as a stand-out defender, also being named in the Super Netball team of the year (2018).
"This is definately something not new but something different compared to the other two seasons,” Pretorius said.
"Being in this environment really has made me a better player and leader and person.”