The Melbourne Vixens are looking for a huge 2020 Super Netball season and we've got all the info you need right here.
Re-signed: Tegan Phillip, Tayla Honey, Caitlin Thwaites, Jo Weston, Mwai Kumwenda, Emily Mannix, Kadie -Ann Dehaney, Liz Watson, Kate Moloney.
In: Kate Eddy (NSW Swifts)
Out: Ine-Mari Venter*(QLD Firebirds), Renae Ingles (retirement), Lara Dunkley* (QLD Firebirds)
*temporary replacement players
What happened last season
The Vixens had a pretty strong season, bringing in Australian Diamond Caitlin Thwaites into their squad, winning 8 games for the season and having one draw.
They put up some fierce battles against their competitors, including some fantastic matches against cross-town rivals in the magpies and that very nail-biting one-point loss against the Sunshine Coast Lighting.
Talking to Superstar Liz Watson, her favourite game was the Semi-Final against the Collingwood Magpies
“It was probably the final against the Magpies," she said.
"We played at the State Netball and Hockey Centre, which is our home training venue, and you know we've lost in the week before, which was shattering, but then to have a really good game and beat them in that final was pretty special.
"We hadn't really played well the week before against Collingwood wants to go away that week and actually work out what went wrong and come out in that final and play a lot better.”
What to look forward to this season
With Mwai Kumwenda coming back for a full season after a nasty ACL injury, it’s going to be a pretty unstoppable goal circle.
Phillip, Thwaites and Kumwenda all rotate throughout their goal circle, making their line up exciting and very unpredictable.
“We're a very determined team that have come quite close in the last few seasons," Watson continued.
"So, we are wanting to get that one step further and I keep saying keep improving.
"With change among positions and players and maybe a little bit more flexibility in our list, hopefully we can go all the way to the final.
“I think it's in those close moments we just need to, you know, try and be the better team and then come out on top in those moments.
"I think we play a good game but we were quite inconsistent in the pressured moments. So, we've done a bit of work on the mental side of the game and the toughness that we need is probably been more consistent across the quarter...and then across a full game.”
Three influential players
Liz Watson: One of the best wing attacks in the competition, she has formed a great relationship between her partner in crime in Kate Moloney and boasts outstanding delivery into her shooters.
Kate Moloney: An absolute superstar, not only with her skills, but her strong connection with Lizzy Watson, which forms an unstoppable attacking line.
She is a great leader and she is always encouraging her teammates to get better, which is something a great leader and teammate does.
Emily Mannix: Mannix is sometimes an underrated goalkeeper, especially in terms of Diamonds selection, but she’s the current record holder for most intercepts in a game.
She has formed a great connection with her other defender in Jo Weston, which is a headache for opposition goalers.
Two players to look out for
This will be her first season on the active list after a nasty achilleas injury, but Tayla Honey is one to watch. If she is able to get court time, there is a lot to look forward to from her.
She has got a willingness to learn and improve her netball, as well as coming from a very athletic family, with both parents being professional athletes, (her mother Di Honey was an Australian Netballer and father Neil a professional pole-vaulter). Even Tayla’s younger brother Josh is currently a rookie at the Carlton Football Club. Her younger sister is also a sprinter representing Victoria in the 100m sprints. Enough said.
Another to watch is Mwai Kumwenda. Her return, after missing most of the 2019 season due to an ACL injury with a full preseason under her belt, is certainly going to make a strong and unpredictable Vixens' goal circle.
Watson agreed. “She came back a little bit towards the end of the season after her knee reconstruction, but I guess she hadn't really had a proper preseason and time to train with everybody.
"She’s fit she’s ready so I think we might see the old MJ back.”