Melbourne Vixens

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Melbourne Vixens
ANZ Championship team
Melbourne Vixens.png
Franchise information
Years active 2008–present
Based in Melbourne, Australia
Region Victoria
Main sponsor RACV
ANZ Championship
Head coach Simone McKinnis
Asst coach Diane Honey, Sharelle McMahon (specialist), Stacey West (specialist)
Captain Bianca Chatfield [1]
Titles won Two (2009, 2014)
Best finish Champions (2009, 2014)
2014 finish Premier
Kit body anzcvixens1.svg
Team colours
Kit skirt anzc greendots.svg
Team colours

The Melbourne Vixens are an Australian netball team in Melbourne that compete in the trans-Tasman ANZ Championship. The team were formed in 2007 as an amalgamation of the Melbourne Phoenix and Melbourne Kestrels from the previous Commonwealth Bank Trophy. In 2014 Bianca Chatfield is the captain with Madison Robinson vice-captain, under head coach Simone McKinnis. Home games are played at Hisense Arena, while the team trains at the State Netball and Hockey Centre, both in Melbourne.

The Vixens finished fourth in their first season of the ANZ Championship, led by a strong international lineup. They retained the core of their team in the 2009 season, which the Vixens won by defeating the Adelaide Thunderbirds 54–46 in the grand final. The following year started strongly for the Vixens, before a mid-season slump saw them finish seventh.

History[edit]

2008 inaugural season[edit]

For the inaugural season, the Vixens were headlined by internationals Sharelle McMahon, Julie Corletto, Bianca Chatfield, Natasha Chokljat, and Abby Sargent and talented emerging stars such as Renae Hallinan, Caitlin Thwaites, Madison Browne, Johannah Curran, Sharni Layton, and Ashlee Howard.

At the end of the round-robin matches the Vixens were fourth on the competition ladder, allowing them to progress to the final stage. They were defeated by the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the minor semi-final, finishing fourth for the season.

2009 championship winners[edit]

In 2009, the team was headlined by internationals Sharelle McMahon, Julie Corletto, Bianca Chatfield, Natasha Chokljat, and Ama Agbeze and talented emerging stars such as Renae Hallinan, Caitlin Thwaites, and Ashlee Howard. The Vixens finished the 2009 season as champions, defeating the Adelaide Thunderbirds by 54–46.

2010 title defence[edit]

The Vixens start their premiership defence campaign on 22 March 2010. Their motto for 2010 is 'Strength to Strength'. The Vixens have introduced a competition first, introducing the Melbourne Vixens Cheer Squad in early march.

In the Vixens' first match against the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, they unveiled their premiership flag to their fans, and reflected their near flawless 2009 campaign, which saw them win the 2009 ANZ Championship.

Although the Vixens won their first five matches, they lost their next seven, ending their dream of back-to-back premierships. The Vixens broke their losing streak in the last round of the season, beating the championship cellar dwellers, Central Pulse.

The team was headlined by internationals Sharelle McMahon, Julie Corletto, Bianca Chatfield, Natasha Chokljat, and Renae Hallinan and talented emerging stars such as Caitlin Thwaites and Tegan Caldwell.

The co-captain, and one of the world's best netballers Sharelle McMahon took out the Best and Fairest award.

In August 2010 Vixens Centre Court Player Wendy Jones (née Jacobsen) announced her retirement from the Vixens.

2011 season[edit]

Planning for season 2011 is underway, as the season starts in early 2011. One major move has already been made from the Vixens, signing 193 cm shooter and Australian Diamond Kate Beveridge, and also the welcoming back of 2008 Vixen Madison Browne and 2009 Vixen Sarah Wall. The Vixens also provided the shock signing of the season, signing former Adelaide Thunderbirds goal keeper and English international Geva Mentor.[2]

Veteran Natasha Chokljat and young shooter Caitlin Thwaites have left the Vixens. Chokljat has left for the Southern Steel and Thwaites for the Central Pulse.

The team is headlined by internationals Sharelle McMahon, Julie Corletto, Bianca Chatfield, Renae Hallinan, Madison Browne, Kate Beveridge, and Geva Mentor and talented emerging stars such as Sarah Wall, Micaela Wilson, and Tegan Caldwell.

During the 8th Round first match the Vixens played Queensland firebirds and Co-Captain Sharelle McMahon went down with a serious ankle injury- ruptured Achilles tendon. She had surgery the following day cutting her out of contention of the Vixens season and the 2011 World Champs. Many members of the state and the nation have joined together in a pursuit to get the star to continue.[3]

2012 season[edit]

International Renae Hallinan departed to the Adelaide Thunderbirds and Kathleen Knott wasn't selected.[4] Former team member Kara Richards returned from the Thunderbirds and talented young Victorian Fury shooter Karyn Howarth (née Bailey) made her debut for the side.[5][6] Sharelle McMahon withdrew from selection in February due to pregnancy, and was replaced by Ashlee Howard [7]

The Vixens finished the season the minor premiers, with their major semi final to be played at Rod Laver Arena, the first time a netball match has been hosted at the venue.

2013 season[edit]

During the off season period, the Melbourne Vixens formed a completely new team. With the most noticeable; Sharelle McMahon signing a one year deal after giving birth to her son Xavier. Julie Corletto departs for the Northern Mystics over in Auckland, New Zealand in order to be closer to her husband Daryl who plays at the NZ Breakers in the NBL League. Kate Beveridge departed back to her home in Perth at the West Coast Fever. Sarah Wall wasn't selected causing controversy towards fans. Amy Steel, Elissa Macleod and Shannon Eagland returned to Victoria, all three playing for the Queensland Firebirds in the previous season. Johannah Curran returns to the Vixens after not playing netball in the 2012 season. Finally, Kate Moloney and Erin Hoare join the Vixens as new comers after impressive VNL seasons. Bianca Chatfield is to captain the side in 2013.

2014 season[edit]

With the retirement of Sharelle McMahon at the end of the 2013 season, the Vixens recruited veteran Australian Diamonds Goal Shooter Catherine Cox from the West Coast Fever.[8] Other new arrivals in the pre-season included two rookies: defender Joanna Weston and mid-court Caitlyn Strachan replacing Johanna Curran and Shannon Eagland respectively.

Just days before the commencement of the pre-season competition, Centre Elissa Macleod announced that she was pregnant and was replaced for the 2014 season by rookie Elizabeth Watson.[9]

The starting seven for the Round 1 match against the Northern Mystics were Catherine Cox (GS), Tegan Caldwell (GA), Madison Robinson (WA), Liz Watson (C), Kate Maloney (WD), Bianca Chatfield (GD) and Geva Mentor (GK). Cox was replaced in the second quarter by Karyn Bailey and these players have formed the starting seven for the remainder of the season. With seven wins and just two losses leading up to the Australian Diamonds selection camp in May 2014, all except English import Geva Mentor were called up for the Diamonds squad, from which the final team of twelve is selected to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Vixens finished the home and away season with mixed form, suffering two further losses to New South Wales Swifts and Southern Steel, yet still retained first place on the ladder, guaranteeing a home Semi Final against fast-finishing Queensland Firebirds. The Vixens took an early lead of 16-9 in the semi final, which they protected for the rest of the game, setting up an ideal one week break followed by a home grand final. Queensland Firebirds defeated Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in the Preliminary Final to set up a rematch against the Vixens but were overpowered with the Vixens winning the Grand Final 53-42.

Players[edit]

2015 Melbourne Vixens roster
Players Coaching staff
Nat. Name Position(s) DoB Height
Australia Karyn Bailey GS, GA 28-07-1986 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)
Australia Tegan Caldwell GA, GS 03-09-1988 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Australia Bianca Chatfield (c) GD, GK 02-04-1982 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
Australia Carla Dziwoki GS, GA, 29-08-1982 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Australia Emily Mannix GK,GD
England Geva Mentor GK, GD 17-09-1984 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Australia Kate Moloney WD, C 08-01-1993 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)
Australia Madison Robinson (vc) WA, C 05-01-1988 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
Australia Alice Teague-Neeld GA, GS, 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Australia Joanna Weston GD, WD, GK 14-02-1994 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Australia Chloe Watson WD, GD
Australia Elizabeth Watson C, WA 30-04-1994 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Head coach
Assistant coach
  • Australia Diane Honey

Physiotherapist: Steve Hawkins


Notes
  • (c) – Captain
  • (cc) – Co-captain
  • (vc) – Vice-captain
  • Injured or on maternity leave – Injury / maternity leave
  • (TRP) – Temporary Replacement Player
Player profiles: Team websiteANZC website Last updated: 3 May 2014

Franchise[edit]

Naming and colours[edit]

The team are known as the Vixens, a play on the word Victoria. Their brand colours are green, crimson, black, and navy. The following quote, from the Vixens' website, explains the colour choice:[10]

"The colours of green and crimson were chosen to reflect that of a female, youthful and dynamic team. The colour of black conveys a sense of sophistication, authority and power. The colour of navy blue represents Victoria’s rich history of success at the elite sports level, a State with proud and active communities that will continue to support netball as we pursue our future triumphs."

Like the Adelaide Thunderbirds, NSW Swifts, and the West Coast Fever, the Vixens have aligned themselves with an AFL club, in this case Collingwood.[11]

Team song[edit]

In 2009, as a way to bond the team, the Vixens created a team song, titled 'We Are The Vixens'. The players came up with the lyrics themselves, with help from a company called Muso Magic. These are the lyrics:

You want the best, Here we are, We'll give it all right now.
We're here to win, Come with us
We're gonna show you how

Stand up, Be proud, Shout it out loud

We are the Vixens, No one stands in our way, Power together
Stronger in every way, As one

We wear it true, Navy blue, That's what we're all about
Victoria, Feel the pride. And let the fox come out

Power, Power together, Power as one, Power, Power together
Vixens!

One team, One dream, Shout it out loud

We are the Vixens, No one stands in our way, Power together
Stronger in every way, As one

In 2011 on their first home game against the West Coast Fever the Vixens released their remixed version of the theme song.

Venues[edit]

The Vixens play their home games at the 10,500 seat Hisense Arena. From 2015 the Vixens have announced they will move into the redeveloped Margaret Court Arena which will seat 7,500 as well as having a retractable roof.[12]

Competitive record[edit]

ANZ Championship[edit]

  • 2008: 4th
  • 2009: 1st
  • 2010: 7th
  • 2011: 5th
  • 2012: 2nd
  • 2013: 3rd
  • 2014: 1st

References[edit]

  1. ^ Windley, Matt (2012-02-16). "Bianca Chatfield to lead Melbourne Vixens from back". Herald Sun (Melbourne: The Herald and Weekly Times Pty Ltd). Retrieved 03-05-2014.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. ^ Williams, Rebecca (16 September 2010). "Dynamic signing for Melbourne Vixens". Herald Sun. Retrieved 26 September 2010. 
  3. ^ Aston, Helen (5 April 2011). "Come Back Shazza!!!". Facebook. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  4. ^ "2012 ANZ Championship season preview". tvnz.co.nz. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "Melbourne Vixens". Melbourne Vixens. 2011-11-03. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  6. ^ http://www.anz-championship.com/assets/2012ANZChampionship-final-squads.pdf
  7. ^ "Melbourne Vixens". Melbourne Vixens. 2012-02-25. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  8. ^ Pearce, Linda (11-08-2013). "Never say die as veteran Cox eyes future". The Age (Melbourne: Fairfax Media). Retrieved 03-05-2013.  Check date values in: |date=, |accessdate= (help)
  9. ^ Pearce, Linda (2014-02-13). "Teen Watson steps up to fill Vixens role as Elissa Kent announces pregnancy". The Age (Melbourne: Fairfax Media). Retrieved 03-05-2014.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  10. ^ Melbourne Vixens - Netball Victoria's ANZ Championship Team
  11. ^ Netball Victoria - News
  12. ^ Pearce, Linda (2013-03-26). "Vixens move some games to Margaret Court Arena". The Age (Melbourne: Fairfax Media). Retrieved 03-05-2014.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
New South Wales Swifts
ANZ Championship winners
2009
Succeeded by
Adelaide Thunderbirds