The Melbourne Vixens today finalised their squad of 12 athletes for the 2016 ANZ Championship season with midcourter Kelsey Browne and shooter Emma Ryde signing one-year contracts.
Browne, 23, was a replacement player for the Vixens in 2015, debuting in round seven against the Queensland Firebirds, and was named Most Valuable Player of the undefeated Victorian Fury premiership winning side in the 2015 Australian Netball League.
“I burst into tears,” Browne said after learning of her contract to join the Vixens team.
“I’ve been working really hard towards this goal for the last few years and to now have the opportunity to work with a great group of athletes and coaching staff, it really can’t start soon enough.”
Ryde, who recently turned 19, stands at an imposing 197cm and has been a dominant feature for Victoria in underage state teams.
After a stellar 2015 season with Fury, Ryde has been on the radar of national talent identification representatives given her goal-scoring prowess and is currently in Canberra for a month of training at the Centre of Excellence Residential Program.
“I was shocked, but now I’m excited to join this team and learn from everyone,” Ryde said.
Vixens head coach Simone McKinnis was delighted to have two young Victorian athletes joining the team as preparations begin to take shape ahead of next year’s competition.
“Kelsey has had a taste of what the ANZ Championship is about and now she has the opportunity to prepare and consolidate on that after some great performances in the Australian Netball League,” McKinnis said
“She knows the work required at this level, the opportunity is there, now it is up to her to make the most of it.”
“It’s a big step up for Emma but over the last 18 months she has demonstrated her ability to take on each challenge. She has a lot of work to do in the off season to physically prepare for the year ahead and to really build on her current strengths.”
“We have a solid block of time where the girls can get themselves in the best physical and mental shape and while it is an individual focus at the moment, they are all committed to making sure when we come together, we come together ready for the year ahead.”
Browne is the younger sister of Vixens teammate Madi Robinson.
2016 Melbourne Vixens team
Kelsey Browne Biography:
Started playing at 6-years old for Grovedale West Primary School
Grassroots Club: South Barwon Netball Club (Geelong Football Netball League)
Victorian 17/U State Team: 2008, 2009
Victorian 19/U State Team: 2010, 2011
Victorian 21/U State Team: 2011, 2012, 2013
Australian 19/U Squad: 2010, 2011
Australian 21/U Squad: 2011, 2012
Victorian Fury - 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 (ANL Champions 2013, 2014, 2015 – MVP 2015)
Victorian Fury MVP - 2015
Victorian Flames - 2013
Melbourne Vixens Replacement Player 2015
Emma Ryde Biography:
Started playing 13/U at Fairways Netball Club
Grassroots Club – Frankston and Districts Netball Association
Victorian 17/U State Team: 2012, 2013
Victorian 19/U State Team: 2014, 2015
Australian 19/U Squad: 2014, 2015
Victorian Fury: 2015
Victorian Institute of Sport Scholarship Holder: 2014, 2015
Victorian Netball League Championship Premiers: 2015 (Boorondara Genesis)
Centre of Excellence Residential Scholarship: 2015
Centre of Excellence Talls Camp: 2015
Australian Netball league Champions: 2015 (Victorian Fury)