The 2016 Victorian Netball League (VNL) season will get underway at the State Netball and Hockey Centre (SNHC) on Wednesday 6 April.
This season promises to be another exciting affair with 10 teams from across the state in the running for the VNL title.
Boroondara Express head into 2016 as the defending Championship Division champions after their six-goal win in last year’s Grand Final against City West Falcons.
The other nine teams will be looking to take it to last year’s victors early in the season. None more so than the Falcons who will be keen to avenge for last year’s Grand Final defeat.
Tipped by many as one of the teams to beat this season, the City West Falcons will get the chance to do exactly that when they take on Boroondara in the opening round with the Championship match scheduled to commence at 9.40pm AEST.
Another team highly fancied by the club President’s to progress to the Grand Final are the Geelong Cougars, following their strong off-season recruitment drive.
“All players are looking fit and are well prepared for the season. Kate Thompson has returned which coincides with her selection in the Fury again,” Geelong Championship Coach Gerard Murphy said.
The Cougars will open up their season against Wilson Storage Southern Saints at 7.00pm AEST.
Also featuring in the opening timeslot will be the Peninsula Waves and the Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels.
Waves Championship Coach Sally Allen is expecting the VNL to be a tough competition this year.
“We are expecting strong competition, competitive matches, exciting skills and great netball,” Allen said.
“With a new squad and new coach we are all focused on our progression, building into 2016 and beyond.”
The other two matches to feature in the opening round will see the ACU Sovereigns host the Monash University Storm, and Melbourne University Lightening take on DC North East Blaze.
Below is a full list of the opening round one fixtures.
Round 1 fixtures:
Geelong Cougars v Wilson Storage Southern Saints
Peninsula Waves v Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels
Melbourne University Lightning v DC North East Blaze
Boroondara Express v City West Falcons
ACU Sovereigns v Monash University Storm
Find out more here.
The VNL Most Valuable Player will be awarded the Margaret Caldow Trophy.
The Margaret Caldow Trophy is named after one of the greatest goalers the world has seen. Margaret Caldow represented Australia in the 1960s and 1970s, captaining the team to the World Championships in Auckland. This prestigious award is selected by the officiating umpires and is awarded to the Championship Division Most Valuable Player.
2015 MVP winners
Margaret Caldow Trophy – Kath Knott (City West Falcons)
Division One Most Valuable Player – Ashleigh Hardy (Wilson Storage Southern Saints)
19/Under Most Valuable Player – Amelia Brook (City West Falcons)
The Hot Shot Award is awarded to the player who scores the most goals in each VNL division during the regular season.
2015 Hot Shot Award winners:
Championships Division – Kath Knott (City West Falcons) – 630 goals
Division One: Chloe Curran (Wilson Storage Southern Saints) – 442 goals
Under-19 Division – Hannah Van Gemst (Geelong Cougars) – 506 goals.