Diamonds youth to shine for vixens in 2017

2 years ago

The Melbourne Vixens are excited to announce a bevy of Australian Diamonds, an international star and the best up-and-coming talent as the 2017 Melbourne Vixens who will challenge in the National Netball League.

Former Australian Diamond shooter Tegan Philip will return to the Club back from injury, the dynamic goal attack to be joined in the circle by electrifying Malawi Goal Shooter Mwai Kumwenda.

Kumwenda was named MVP of last year’s Netball World Cup and comes to the Vixens from the Mainland Tactix where she had a stellar season and was named Club MVP. Up-and-coming Victorian shooting sensation, Australian 21/U representative and 2016 Vixen Emma Ryde will round out the Vixens’ goal circle.

Vixens 2016 Co Vice-Captain Kate Moloney will combine with Australian Diamond Liz Watsonfor another year in the mid-court, alongside former Diamonds squad member and experienced athlete Khao Watts, who joins the Club from the Adelaide Thunderbirds.

The Vixens have secured a strong defensive line-up with Australian Diamond Jo Weston, Diamonds training partner Emily Mannix and Australian 21/U representative Chloe Watson all remaining with the Club.

Coach Simone McKinnis said she is excited by the Club’s powerful combination of youth, experience and ‘x-factor’ players.

“It’s a really exciting time and we have a group who we feel very positive about and who want to be here as Vixens, and that’s the strongest starting point we could have,” said McKinnis, who will be joined on the Vixens coaching panel by Australian legends Di Honey, Sharelle McMahon, Eloise Southby and Joh Curran.

“We’re very happy we’ve kept our core group together, and with some vibrant new talent coming in, the opportunity to build on what we’ve started is huge.”

McKinnis said the addition of Kumwenda – who honed her skills with the Peninsula Waves in the Victorian Netball League in 2011 and represented the Victorian Fury in 2013 in the Australia Netball League – will be one to watch.

“I watched MJ when she was playing in the Victorian state league and I’ve always admired the way she plays – she’s dynamic, athletic and unpredictable and I’m excited to bring that to our attack,” she added.

The atmosphere within the playing group is one of pride and exhilaration added, Moloney.

“I’m absolutely pumped to be back with the team for next year, and we’ve got a really exciting group of girls and I can’t wait to get started,” said the 2016 Co Vice-Captain.

“We really wanted to keep the core group of girls together and to be able to do that is amazing. The National Netball League is such an exciting time for netball and the Vixens and I’m really excited and proud to be a part of that.”

The Vixens will announce their final athlete signing next week.

Athlete information

Mwai Kumwenda: Kumwenda, 26, burst onto the international scene in 2014 when she joined the Mainland Tactix in the ANZ Championship. The Malawi-born shooter was crowned MVP of the 2015 Netball World Cup and was Tactix’s MVP in 2016.

Emily Mannix: Mannix, 22, joined the Vixens in the 2015. After catching the eye of selectors, the Geelong native was recently selected as an Australian Diamonds training partner.

Kate Moloney: Moloney, 23, joined the Vixens in 2013 and was part of the 2014 Premiership winning side. The Victorian is an Australian Fast5 representative and was Co Vice-Captain in 2016.

Tegan Philip: Philip, 28, joined the Vixens in 2010 and was part of the 2014 Premiership winning side in which she was crowned Grand Final Player of the Match. The Geelong goalie was a member of the Australian Diamonds in 2012, 2013 and 2015 before missing the 2016 season with an ACL injury.

Emma Ryde: Ryde, 20, debuted for the Vixens in season 2016 where she played a pivotal role. The Victorian shooter is a member of the World Youth Cup Squad.

Chloe Watson: Watson, 22, joined the Vixens in 2015 after a standout year in 2014 saw her named Victorian Netball League Most Valuable Player. The Bendigo-born defender has represented Australia at 21/U and 19/U level.

Liz Watson: Carlton-born Watson, 22, joined the Vixens in 2014 where she was part of the 2014 Premiership winning side. She is currently a member of the Australian Diamonds.

Khao Watts: Watts, 28, has an established career, playing with Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in 2012-2013, the West Coast Fever in 2014-2015 and the Adelaide Thunderbirds in season 2016. Hailing from Millicent, South Australia, Watts was a member of the Australian Diamonds squad in 2015.

Joanna Weston: Weston, 22, joined the Vixens in 2014 where she was part of the 2014 Premiership winning side. The Victorian is currently a member of the Australian Diamonds.

The Vixens will announce their final athlete signing next week.

More news