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Sunshine Coast signs Diamonds shooters

AAP logoAAP 22/09/2016 Vince Rugari

The Sunshine Coast Lightning have snared Diamonds shooters Caitlin Bassett and Stephanie Wood for the inaugural season of the eight-team Australian netball league.

The pair were announced on Thursday as the first signings for the Lightning, a joint venture between the NRL's Melbourne Storm and the University of the Sunshine Coast.

It's a significant coup for the new franchise, with Bassett arguably the world's best shooter and Wood a player firmly on the rise.

"I believe we are looking at the next permanent Diamonds shooting combination," coach Maria Taurua said.

"Steph has the maturity, speed and smarts, and has now been given the opportunity to expand her playmaker skills, she's a product of Sunshine Coast and was the first player that we needed to sign.

"Caitlin is world class. She's agile, unassumingly physical and mentally tough and she will do her job over and over again under extreme pressure.

"Caitlin has, and will continue, to win games single-handedly. She is the linchpin of our team."

Bassett, 28, has played only in her home state of Western Australia, first for the Perth Orioles and then for the West Coast Fever in the trans-Tasman competition.

Wood, 24, is from Queensland and played for the Sunshine Coast Lynx in the state league before signing for the NSW Swifts two years ago, playing a part in their back-to-back grand final defeats.

"I was ready to give netball up a couple of years ago so I am just taking the opportunities given to me, and having another team in Queensland has given me the chance to come back home which is a dream come true," Wood said.

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