The Melbourne Vixens have announced their co-captains for the 2022 season with Kate Moloney and Liz Watson set to lead the club for the upcoming year.
Having led the side to the championship as co-captains in 2020, the star midcourt duo has been entrusted with the joint role once again by their teammates and club staff, an accolade neither takes for granted.
“It’s such a privilege and honour to lead the Melbourne Vixens, and to do it alongside Lizzy again this year is something I’m really excited about,” Moloney said.
“I love working with her and I can’t wait to continue to grow in that shared role. Knowing that you’ve got the backing of the group really gives you the confidence to be able to go out there and do a great job for the team.”
On her return from the foot injury that kept her sidelined for the entire 2021 season, Watson is proud to receive the backing of her Vixens family once again.
“It’s really special and really nice to know this has come from the playing group, they’re the ones we want to do our best in this position for. It’s not something that we take lightly – it’s a big responsibility and a privilege to be the co-captains of this club,” she said.
“Working alongside Kate, we know each other really well on the court and we’ve developed our leadership style together off the court too, so I take pride in knowing this role has come to us from the players and the staff.”
Entering her tenth season at the Vixens, Moloney is looked upon with fond eyes according to her co-captain, Watson highlighting Kate's leadership skills and ability to consistently stand up under pressure.
“The way Kate plays, she’s such a leader out there on court – you can hear her in the stands, you can hear her on the telly,” she laughed.
“Kate’s just so passionate about the club and her teammates. I think she’s developed as a player but also as a leader across her 10 years here, and I think we look to her in those tense moments on court or for that reassurance when we get off the court.
“10 years is such an honour – to be at one club, to play all your netball in Victoria and to have that loyalty to the Vixens is something that not that many people can say they have done, and not many people will ever do, so I’m really proud to be alongside Kate in this position.”
Recently appointed as the Australian Diamonds captain and fresh from winning the Quad Series in the UK in January, Watson has her eyes firmly set on playing in front of a home crowd and helping to lead the Vixens back up the ladder in 2022.
“I’m just excited about being back out playing. We’ve had a really great pre-season, the team feels really confident, so hopefully we can play a full season of home and away games for our fans this year. I missed playing for the club, I missed playing in front of family and friends, so I’m just really excited to get out there,” she said.
Moloney said the team had missed her midcourt partner’s on-court presence and were relishing having her back, and in fine form.
The impact of Watson’s return has been evident throughout the Vixens’ pre-season, including winning the Team Girls Cup trophy and four straight wins in hit outs against Adelaide Thunderbirds and GIANTS Netball.
“It’s awesome to have Lizzy back out on court. When you lose a world-class player like Lizzy, she leaves a big hole within your team and it’s great to have her back out there – it looks like she hasn’t missed a beat,” Moloney said.
“She’s worked extremely hard in her rehab so it’s no surprise to see her out there in great form. To have what she offers on the court but also what she brings to our group off the court, it’s just so good to see her back in the navy dress.”
With some new faces joining the squad this season, Moloney is looking forward to showing Vixens fans what the fresh connections and combinations honed over the pre-season can do.
“Having Kiera [Austin] and Liv [Lewis] coming to Melbourne to play, they’re going to add some really exciting stuff to our team, plus Hannah [Mundy] and Rahni [Samason] in their first official year with us – we’ve got some great depth, and a really exciting style that we’re playing,” she said.
“I’m super excited to be back playing in Melbourne at John Cain Arena in front of our fans. Hopefully we can play some good netball and show everyone what the Vixens are about in 2022.”
The Vixens’ Suncorp Super Netball campaign kicks off against the Queensland Firebirds at Nissan Arena in Brisbane on Sunday 27 March.
Our first home game will take place in Round 3 when we take on the GIANTS at John Cain Arena on Saturday 9 April – tickets are on sale now via Ticketek.