The Melbourne Vixens’ 2020 contingent has been finalised, with the club’s five Training Partners being announced.
Sacha McDonald, Allie Smith and Jacqui Newton all return to the Melbourne Vixens’ squad for 2020, and will be joined by 18-year-old shooter, Ruby Barkmeyer, and 25-year-old mid-courter, Elle McDonald.
Along with McDonald, Smith and Newton, Elle McDonald was a member of the Victorian Fury team, that was crowned champions of the Deakin University Australian Netball League (DUANL) for a record eighth time in 2019. She was also named in the 2019 Victorian Netball League (VNL) Team of the Year for the Championship division.
Hailing from Bendigo, despite her age, Barkmeyer already has a host of accolades to her name. She was a member of the 2019 Victorian Fury squad, as well as the 2018 Victorian 17/U state team and the 2018 Australian 17/U Development Squad. Just this week, Barkemeyer was also announced as being selected to once again represent Victoria, this time in the 19/U team at the 2020 National Netball Championships.
Melbourne Vixens’ Head Coach, Simone McKinnis OAM, said she was confident the Vixens had assembled the right combination of players to better the side’s third place finish in 2019.
“It will be fantastic to have Sacha, Allie and Jacqui back around the group in 2020, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how Elle and Ruby thrive in our training environment as well,” McKinnis said.
In addition to Training Partners, for the first time the Melbourne Vixens are also introducing the Vixens’ Academy.
As the Suncorp Super Netball standard continues to rise, so does the challenge of preparing and developing the next wave of Melbourne Vixens for the rigours of the world’s strongest domestic league.
From November to February - and perhaps beyond in some cases - nine athletes, plus signed training partners, will join the Melbourne Vixens core contract group of 10 in both their physical conditioning and on-court programs.
They will be immersed in the elite training environment - overseen by Head Coach McKinnis and assistant Sharelle McMahon - and exposed to a high performance system that has produced Vixens’ and Diamonds’ regulars, including Liz Watson and Jo Weston.
Congratulations to the nine players who have been named in the inaugural Vixens’ Academy: