Melbourne Vixens

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Melbourne Vixens
Melbourne Vixens.png
Founded2008
Based inMelbourne
RegionsVictoria
Home venueRod Laver Arena (15,400)
Melbourne Arena (10,500)
Margaret Court Arena (7,500)
Head coachSimone McKinnis
CaptainKate Moloney
Premierships2 (2009, 2014)
LeagueSuncorp Super Netball
2018 placing5th
Kit body anzcvixens1.svg
Kit body netball.svg
Kit skirt anzc greendots.svg

Uniform

The Melbourne Vixens is an Australian netball team in Melbourne which competes in the Suncorp Super Netball league. The Vixens previously played in the trans-Tasman ANZ Championship. The team was formed in 2007 as an amalgamation of the Melbourne Phoenix and Melbourne Kestrels from the previous Commonwealth Bank Trophy. Kate Moloney is the current captain of the team, with Tegan Philip and Liz Watson as co-vice captains under head coach Simone McKinnis.[1] Home games are played at Melbourne Arena and Margaret Court Arena, while the team trains at the State Netball and Hockey Centre.

The Vixens have won two titles in club history, both in the ANZ Championship in 2009 and 2014 respectively. The team also finished runners-up in the competition in 2012.

History[edit]

Early championship success[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.

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.

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.

Development[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]

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.

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 championship[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 Moloney (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.

The Vixens' 2014 premiership starting seven (Karyn Bailey, Tegan Caldwell, Madison Robinson, Liz Watson, Kate Moloney, Bianca Chatfield, and Geva Mentor) returned unchanged for 2015, with the only team changes taking place on the bench. Former NSW Swift Carla Dziwoki replaced the retiring Catherine Cox. Erin Hoare, Caitlin Nevins, and Amy Steele all sought more court time at other ANZ Championship franchises, to be replaced by rookies Alice Teague-Neeld, Emily Mannix and Chloe Watson (Teague-Neeld was an emergency player for the injured Erin Hoare in 2014, but saw no court time).

After a promising start to their premiership defense of three wins from their first four games, veteran Wing Attack and Australian Diamond Madison Robinson fell in the final quarter of the round 5 match against West Coast Fever, rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee, finishing not only her ANZ season, but also any chance of the Australian Diamonds' defence of the Netball World Cup in August 2015. Younger sister and rookie Kelsey Browne replaced Robinson for the remainder of the 2015 season.[10]

Coach Simone McKinnis made her future intentions clear by resting captain Bianca Chatfield for at least a quarter in every game, providing court time to 20yo Joanna Weston. After retiring from international netball the previous year, Chatfield announced mid-season that 2015 would be her final season in the ANZ Championships. The Melbourne Vixens finished a lacklustre 2015 season with seven wins and six losses, finishing fourth in the Australian Conference and missing the finals. After the close of the season, Carla Dziwoki announced that she would not return to the Vixens in 2016.

Transition to Super Netball[edit]

Despite major player turnover leading into the inaugural season (2017) of the all-Australian Super Netball league, the Vixens impressively took out the minor premiership. Unfortunately the club exited the finals series in straight sets and missed out on a Grand Final place. Captain Kate Moloney was the standout player for the side.[11] The 2018 season was characterised by near-misses, as the Vixens dropped out of the top four in the last round of the season to miss the finals.[12] In happier news former Vixens premiership player Caitlin Thwaites returned to the team at the end of the season, having been rejected a contract extension at cross-town rivals the Magpies.[13]

Players[edit]

2019 Melbourne Vixens roster
Players Coaching staff
Nat. Name Position(s) DoB Height
Jamaica Kadie-Ann Dehaney GK, GD 04/09/1996 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)
Australia Renae Ingles WD, C 18/07/1986 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Malawi Mwayi Kumwenda Injured GS, GA 27/09/1989 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Australia Emily Mannix GK, GD 16/04/1994 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Australia Kate Moloney C, WD 08/01/1993 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)
Australia Tegan Philip GA, GS 03/09/1988 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Australia Caitlin Thwaites GS 29/12/1986 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Australia Liz Watson WA, C 30/03/1994 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Australia Joanna Weston GD, GK, WD 14/02/1994 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
South Africa Ine-Marí Venter GS, GA 21/04/1995 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)
Australia Tayla Honey C, WA 20/08/1997 1.75 m (5 ft 9 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 website Last updated: 25 September 2018

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:[14]

"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."

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 Melbourne Arena and the 7,500 seat Margaret Court Arena. Both venues, located in Melbourne Park, are Retractable roof arenas.[15]

Captains[edit]

Between 2008 and 2015, the Vixens were led by co-captains Sharelle McMahon and Bianca Chatfield, before Madison Robinson was appointed captain in 2016.[16] Since 2017 Kate Moloney has been the captain.[17]

Competitive record[edit]

ANZ Championship[edit]

Suncorp Super Netball[edit]

Victorian Fury[edit]

The Victorian Fury is the Victorian team in the second-tier Australian Netball League (ANL) that has been formally aligned with the Vixens since 2016.[18] All of the Vixens' training partner players, as well as some of the leading talent in Victorian netball play for the team, ensuring it operates as a feeder team for the Vixens and as a pathway program for Victorian netballers.[19] The Fury are the most successful team in the ANL, having won seven premierships since the league's inception in 2008.[20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Melbourne Vixens name midcourt Kate Moloney captain for inaugural Super Netball season". ESPN. 9 February 2017.
  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. 3 November 2011. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 May 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Melbourne Vixens". Melbourne Vixens. 25 February 2012. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  8. ^ Pearce, Linda (11 August 2013). "Never say die as veteran Cox eyes future". The Age. Melbourne: Fairfax Media. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  9. ^ Pearce, Linda (13 February 2014). "Teen Watson steps up to fill Vixens role as Elissa Kent announces pregnancy". The Age. Melbourne: Fairfax Media. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  10. ^ Williams, Rebecca (16 April 2015). "Vixens midcourter Kelsey Browne called up to replace her injured sister Madi Robinson". Herald Sun. Melbourne: NewsCorp. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Melbourne Vixens captain Kate Moloney ready to cap a career-best season with place in Grand Final". Herald Sun. 9 June 2017.
  12. ^ "Vixens miss out on finals in thrilling contest". Netball Scoop. 7 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Full goal circle: Caitlin Thwaites return to Vixens for 2019". Fairfax Media. 5 September 2018.
  14. ^ Melbourne Vixens - Netball Victoria's ANZ Championship Team
  15. ^ Pearce, Linda (26 March 2013). "Vixens move some games to Margaret Court Arena". The Age. Melbourne: Fairfax Media. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  16. ^ Robinson makes history as Vixens' third captain (Netball Australia; 11 Feb 2016)
  17. ^ "Melbourne Vixens name midcourt Kate Moloney captain for inaugural Super Netball season". ESPN. 9 February 2017.
  18. ^ "New look ANL season gets underway". Netball Australia. 20 April 2016.
  19. ^ "2018 Victorian Fury team announcement". Netball Victoria. 2 February 2018.
  20. ^ "Victorian Fury". Netball Victoria.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
New South Wales Swifts
ANZ Championship winners
2009, 2014
Succeeded by
Adelaide Thunderbirds