The Melbourne Vixens coaching panel for 2022 has been finalised with the signings of three specialist coaches to support head coach Simone McKinnis and assistant coach Di Honey.
Former Australian Diamond and Vixens 2020 championship player Caitlin Thwaites has signed on as specialist shooting coach, set to guide the development of the squad’s goalers including veteran Mwai Kumwenda, young guns Rahni Samason and Ruby Barkmeyer and new recruit Kiera Austin.
Susan Meaney will continue as specialist midcourt coach, the former Melbourne Phoenix star and Netball Victoria Hall of Fame member having held the role for the last two years.
Phoenix premiership player and member of the inaugural 2008 Vixens squad Johannah Munro rounds out the specialist coaching unit, returning to the defensive specialist role she previously held in 2019.
Between them the trio have taken the court for both Vixens predecessor clubs – the Melbourne Kestrels and the Melbourne Phoenix – as well as for the Vixens in both ANZ Championship and Suncorp Super Netball eras.
Caitlin Thwaites, who stepped in to coach the Australian 17/U and 19/U camp in December last year, said that her existing relationships with the Vixens playing group position her well in the new role.
“I think I can really add some value to the club in that coaching role. It’s really exciting to be a part of it again and try and impart some of my knowledge and wisdom.”
Susan Meaney said she believes the Vixens squad can achieve great things this year.
“I’m excited about the potential of what this group is going to be. I think 2020 showed where we can be and what we can achieve, and I think we have a great calibre of players both talent-wise and as a group connected together.”
Joh Munro said she is excited by the depth of talent on display amongst the Vixens defenders.
“The blend of experience with players like Jo Weston and Em Mannix, and younger players like Liv Lewis and Gabby Coffey is really exciting. Our squad has a lot of depth and I’m loving being back in the Vixens environment.”
Head coach, Simone McKinnis said the three coaches each bring something different to the table.
“It’s terrific to have coaches of this calibre working with our squad – the breadth of experience and the quality of the insight and support Caity, Susan and Joh bring to the Vixens environment is really important for us, both on and off the court.”
The Vixens will hit the court in Round 1 of the Suncorp Super Netball season on 27 March.
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