REDEMPTION time arrives early for the Melbourne Vixens in 2016.
The Vixens take on the NSW Swifts in the opening round of the season, the team that in 2015 handed them their worst ever ANZ Championship defeat – a 24-goal thrashing in front of a record crowd in Sydney in round 10.
Vixens wing defence Kate Moloney said the memory of that match – and the fact they also missed the finals for the first time in four seasons – is providing the playing group with enough motivation over the pre-season to make amends.
While many of the Vixens are currently doing their own programs, Moloney said she can’t wait for the team to come together in January.
“Absolutely can’t wait for round one,” Moloney declared. “After the way we finished last season, we want to get back out there and redeem yourself.
“As a playing group and as individuals, we were disappointed not making finals. It didn’t sit well with us at all so that’s definitely a big motivator going back into pre-season.”
Moloney, who turns 23 early in the new year, said the record-breaking defeat against the Swifts still smarts but their performance that afternoon highlighted the team’s season overall.
After winning their first three games, the Vixens then suffered a hat-trick of defeats which ultimately denied the 2014 champions the chance to defend their crown.
“We lacked consistency throughout the year,” Moloney said. “The competition seems to get stronger and stronger every year. That’s so exciting for our sport and you have to make sure you’re stepping it up every pre-season and put in the hard yards off the court.
“We’ll work on what areas we have pin-pointed as a team that we need to improve on and be ready to go round one.”
The Vixens will have a new leader in 2016 following the retirement of club stalwart Bianca Chatfield and Moloney said regardless of who’s the new captain, every player in the team had a responsibility as a leader.
“Bianca is the ultimate leader,” Moloney, who is entering her fourth season at the Vixens, said.
“She took me under her wing and showed me the way. Whoever takes over the (captaincy) position, we’re 100 per cent behind them.
“But it’s an opportunity for every single person to step up and take charge and carry on the great work that she’s done.”
The Vixens take on arch rivals NSW Swifts in the opening round of the 2016 season at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre on Sunday, April 3.
Article: ANZ Championship