On Monday Morning, two Vixens legends called time on their fantastic careers
Tegan Phillip has been a mainstay in the goal circle for the Vixens for 10 years, since her debut in 2010. While Caitlin Thwaites has been a superstar for many clubs, starting her national career at just 15 years old back in 2002, for the Melbourne Kestrels. Also making appearances for the Central Pulse in New Zealand, New South Wales Swifts, Collingwood Magpies and the Melbourne Vixens. The Pair sat down for a chat on Monday, to talk about their stellar careers.
In terms of career highlights, for this pair there has been plenty, with a 2009 Vixens Premiership for Thwaites, as Well as plenty on the international stage, but the one thing that
“I think there's, you know, in terms of those on court achievements, but highlights for me has, has been, I guess, the, you know, the friendships and the teammates and all of the fun times and things like that, that we've had along the way.” Caitlin grinned.
For Tegan it wasn’t just one event, but there was one period that changed her netballing career for the better.
An on-court highlight, that would just be the year of 2014. Really. So vixens won the Premiership that year. I was first time selected into the Australian team, which was for the Commonwealth Games, where I got to debut and then play. Yeah, across the tournament there alongside Caitlin and when the Commonwealth Games gold medal, so that's a pretty special year for me, and a lot of fun.” Tegan grinned.
Caitlin was a part of the creation of two clubs that are now powerhouses of our game, in the Melbourne Vixens and the Collingwood Magpies.
“It's exciting to be a part of something new and feel you can contribute to how the, you know, the club is going to be set up and, you know, the values that you as a group want to want to hold and stand for,” Caitlin grinned.
Being able to be a part of the groundwork that goes into a club for many years is something amazing, for Caitlin there’s one tradition in particular that the Vixen’s still use to this day
"That was a part of the Vixen song that we still sing today, there's footage somewhere of us writing that song of singing that song. So, it makes me feel very proud, you know, to have been a part of starting traditions and things like that, that we're still doing today,” Caitlin giggled.
For Phillip, in 2019, she overtook Vixen’s royalty in Bianca Chatfield, as the most capped Vixen. Being at the Vixens since her debut year in 2010, she’s seen the club evolve over the years.
“I'm obviously super proud to take that baton off Bianca Chatfield, famous legend of the game…, it's not just the club that says evolve. But it's netball. And I think that's therefore naturally, you know, change how we do things at the vixens to evolve not just the club, but the sport in general. I think that's been really special to be a part of, I hear that the support staff, or the support that we have as the club at the vixens is pretty top notch above others. So, I'm super grateful to have been a part of that.”
In terms of what’s next for the Pair, they are looking forward to going back home and seeing their loved one’s after certainly a different 2020 season.
“I'm really looking forward to just spending some time with my family and my partner back home.” Caitlin said.
Although nothing has been planned out or set in stone, there are definitely some exciting things coming for them both, with both Tegan and Caitlin sharing a passion in the wellbeing space.
“I'm looking forward to doing things like getting into some a bit more kind of keynote speaking of things, very passionate about the wellbeing space” Caitlin grinned
But for netball fans they don’t have to worry as the pair will never be too far away from the netball scene.
“I am actually finishing my teaching degree this year as well. So, I will have that on the side. So, I, you know, could be doing some CRT work (Casual Relief teaching), I don't see myself in a in an actual job teaching job just yet. we’re just opened to see, you know, what comes out when we depart the sport from the court perspective," Tegan said.
Most of the Vixen’s faithful are in Victoria, which has struggled with a 2nd wave of Covid-19. The girls are super grateful that what they are doing are brining joy to so many of their fans back home
“I think that I feel like their support has gone both ways we felt like we want to, you know, to be there and even just what we're doing, we hope that it's helping our fans and our members and distract them.”
For the pair, even though they are eyeing off one final Premiership, it won’t be the same as they won’t be able to celebrate their careers with the Vixen’s faithful, but they did have a special message for the Vixen’s fans back in Victoria.
“Just a massive thank you. I mean, we have absolutely missed them this season, not being able to have them. So we are feeling that up here. But just the support that they've provided over both of our playing careers I absolutely love them, no other club that I would like to be a part of with better fans.” Tegan grinned.
The pair will go down as not just Vixen’s Legends but Legends of the game, as many netball fans have enjoyed watching Thwaites and Phillip tear up the court for all those years, and we can’t wait to see what they do next."