The Melbourne Vixens will launch their 2016 ANZ Championship season against the NSW Swifts at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre on Sunday 3 April.
The Vixens head into their opening fixture full of confidence after winning the pre-season shootout final at Sydney Olympic Park earlier in the month.
The pre-season has not entirely gone to script though with Tegan Philip suffering a season ending knee injury. A big blow for the Vixens line-up as the 2014 Grand Final Player of the Match was earmarked by many to play a key role in attack this season.
Philip has been replaced in the squad by Kim Commane.
The Vixens led by new skipper Madi Robinson face a tough challenge this weekend against the Swifts team after going down by 24 goals in Sydney last year.
“They are a very good side with a lot of score power, experience and depth,” Robinson said.
“We will focus on going out and playing the Vixens way, we have been working hard on our game plan at training and during the pre-season, and are excited by the challenge that awaits.”
Robinson replaces long-serving captain Bianca Chatfield who hung up her bib at the end of 2015. The 28-year-old’s return to the team this year is a big boost for the Vixens.
Her combination with Liz Watson, Kate Moloney and sister, Kelsey Browne, will be crucial in setting up scoring opportunities for Karyn Bailey and Alice Teague-Neeld to capitalise on in attack.
Teague-Neeld is one of a number of younger players who has impressed Robinson during the pre-season and she looks set for more minutes on the court against the Swifts.
“Alice has stepped up, grown a lot and built up her game so I am excited to see what she can do this season.”
“I have been impressed by the whole team.”
The Vixens and the Swifts will be playing for the Sargeant-McKinnis Cup.
Sunday 3 April, 12.00pm (AEDT)
Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre, Sydney
Broadcast Live: SKY Sport NZ 1, Fox Sports 2, Channel Ten, ONE HD (Perth)
Rd 13, 2015: Swifts 52 defeated Vixens 48, Melbourne
- The Sargeant-McKinnis Cup is contested between the two sides each year. The winner of the trophy at the end of the season is determined on aggregate over their two regular season matches.
- This is the first time the Vixens will have two sisters play together (Madi Robinson and Kelsey Browne). The only other time in the League was Laura and Natalie on Bertouch at the Adelaide Thunderbirds.
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