ONE OF THE BEST: Lightning's Karla Pretorius. Photo: Patrick Woods
ONE OF THE BEST: Lightning's Karla Pretorius. Photo: Patrick Woods

Star Lightning defender recharged during enforced break

Star Sunshine Coast defender Karla Pretorius says she's feeling re-energised as she waits for the national league to start.

With the competition postponed due to COVID-19, the 30-year-old has benefited from some time away from the court.

"It's just been good to have a bit of a breather," she said

"I feel like the past three years has been very busy and especially the beginning of the year."

"So just to re-energise a bit and just get into the right mental state, I've really enjoyed the time we've had.

"So, now I'm very excited to get back (in action) and for us all to get back together again (when possible)."

She's relished the "small stuff" away from the court.

"Like getting up in the morning and going for a walk with my husband. I'm appreciating that time.

"And just going for a bike ride, things other than netball."

Lightning players have been unable to train as a group since March, due to restrictions.

The season, initially due to start last weekend, was postponed to a date yet to be announced.

Pretorius has still been keeping in shape via running, cycling and some home weight sessions.

She's done some skills sessions.

"If you have a ball and you have a wall, then that's all I need."

"There's just that one-on-one agility work, a bit of ball work, which is my kind of go-to, and my husband has often been a passer to me. So, you just make use with what you have. You make it work.

"(And) I've been able to work on stuff I don't really get time to work on and to recharge."

A renowned intercepter, Pretorius has been a mainstay for the Lightning since their inception, helping them to consecutive titles in 2017 and 2018. She also experienced a bumper 2019, when she was in the Super Netball team of the year, was player of the World Cup and was shortlisted for the Queensland Sports Star of the Year gong.

She was this week voted the best goal defence in Super Netball's three-year history, by fans and experts.

Pretorius looms as a key player again for the Lightning in their quest for the title this year, assuming the competition gets under way.

An announcement on the season is expected to be made by the end of this month.

Players have taken pay cuts, due to the pandemic, after the league and the Australian Netball Players Association reached an agreement.

"It's not an ideal situation but it's a decision made as a playing group," Pretorius said.

"It's the bigger picture of the survival of the sport and the decision wasn't taken lightly."

She said the Lightning had provided good support to the players in the wake of the cuts.