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Kate Moloney in action at the Netball ANZ Championship 2014 GRAND FINAL- Vixens v Firebirds at Hisense Arena Photo: Grant Treeby www.treebyimages.com.au
Kate Moloney in action at the Netball ANZ Championship 2014 GRAND FINAL- Vixens v Firebirds at Hisense Arena Photo: Grant Treeby www.treebyimages.com.au

It is faster, tougher and more competitive than ever before but it is the love of the game and team that has kept coach Simone McKinnis and co-captain Kate Moloney at the Vixens for 10 years.

The duo are taking a walk down memory lane this week ahead of the Vixens Super Netball Heritage Round – which will celebrate the 25-year-history of the club.

McKinnis, regarded as one of the best wing defenders to have played the game, joined the Vixens as a specialist coach in 2012, before taking on the head coach role the following year.

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Moloney was just 20 when she broke into the Vixens side — a dream come true.

“I played netball growing up and dreamt of playing for the Vixens but I didn’t know if it would actually ever happen,” the midcourter said.

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Vixens coach Simone McKinnis and player Kate Moloney, have both been at the Vixens for 10 years. Picture: Michael Klein.
Vixens coach Simone McKinnis and player Kate Moloney, have both been at the Vixens for 10 years. Picture: Michael Klein.

“I got to my first training session with the likes of Bianca Chatfield and Sharelle McMahon.

“I have absolutely loved being part of the group and learned so much from all the players and Simone over the past 10 years.”

Moloney said she had never considered swapping team colours, even after the side finished on the bottom of the ladder in 2021.

“This club, the players and coaches, have helped me become the person I am today,” Moloney said.

“I just want to be able to repay this club everything that they have given me.

“Being able to pull on the navy blue, which is something that I did as a junior coming through the ranks, I have so much pride in playing for the Vixens and being able to go out and represent Victoria.”

McKinnis has seen many changes during her 10 years as coach including the move from ANZ Championship to Super Netball.

Kate Moloney finds a teammate.
Kate Moloney finds a teammate.

While McKinnis said she missed having the NZ involvement in the competition, Super Netball had grown into the best competition in the world.

“Super Netball has added a whole new level in terms of intensity and competitiveness and professionalism around the league,” McKinnis said.

“It’s faster, and the strength and power of the game has really grown.”

Vixens will have a heritage display on show at John Cain arena ahead of the clash with Giants on Saturday night. Fans are also encouraged to wear a touch of Phoenix or Kestrels to the game.

McKinnis said it was important to acknowledge where the club started to appreciate how far it had come.

“Recognising the history of the Vixens and the Phoenix and Kestrels and all those clubs before, it is going to be nice to celebrate that,” she said.

“There is a lot that goes into building where we are now and it’s all about celebrating Victorian netball.”

Vixens will play Giants at John Cain Arena at 5pm on Saturday.

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