The breadth of talent in the Victorian netball pathway has been cemented with nine Victorians being named in the Australian Diamonds squad and Development squad, released by Netball Australia today.
Despite a season the Melbourne Vixens would rather forget, six players have proven their worth with Kate Moloney, Liz Watson
and Jo Weston being named in the squad due to face New Zealand in October, and Emily Mannix, Kate Eddy and Hannah Mundy selected in the development squad as Netball Australia builds on their elite pathway.
Three Victorians who are currently playing for interstate clubs in Suncorp Super Netball were also identified as up and coming talent – Lara Dunkley (Queensland Firebirds), Matilda Garrett (Adelaide Thunderbirds) and Alice Teague-Neeld (West Coast Fever) will join Mannix, Eddy and Mundy in the development squad.
Liz Watson returns to the Diamonds squad, after surgery on her navicular bone earlier this year forced her to the sidelines. Watson has been working closely with VIS staff, in conjunction with Diamonds medical staff, to prepare her body for the return to netball. She has remained a large part of the Vixens’ squad this year in training sessions and joining head coach Simone McKinnis on the bench in an assistant coach capacity. Watson captained three of the Diamonds’ four games in New Zealand earlier this year.
As Watson’s replacement for the Vixens this season, Hannah Mundy has certainly impressed, earning a spot in the Diamonds Development squad. The 20-year-old was named as temporary replacement in round 1 and cemented her spot in the starting seven for the entire season.
Vixens’ captain and Diamond #174, Kate Moloney is thrilled to have the Vixens and Victoria represented at the highest level.
“As Victorians, we pride ourselves on our pathway and developing the best netballers in the country, to ultimately represent Australia at the highest level of the game.
“I’m so proud in particular of the six Vixens selected, because despite not having the season we’d hoped for, it goes to show that they put absolutely everything out there for the team and have been rewarded for their hard work and commitment.
“Behind closed doors, the approach Lizzy has taken to her rehab and training is so impressive. She is one of the best netballers in the world and deserves her spot as an athlete and as a leader.
“What can I say about Hannah Mundy? She has blown us all away with how she has filled Lizzy’s position this year. She has listened and learned and been so appreciative of the experience, so to see her selected into the Development squad is amazing.
“For me, personally, to wear the Diamonds dress is something I dreamed of as a kid and do not take for granted when we’re out on court. The spirit of the Diamonds and representing your country is something I’m so proud of and grateful for.”
The Diamonds are due to play New Zealand in the Constellation Cup in October.
The Melbourne Vixens returned from Brisbane on Thursday, after their Suncorp Super Netball season finished on Wednesday night. The Vixens will remain in home quarantine for two weeks, with support from Netball Victoria and the VIS.