Coach Bios

Tracey Neville  

The inaugural Head Coach for the Melbourne Mavericks, Tracey Neville is a former England Rose having played 81 caps between 1996 to 2008. She started her senior coaching career in 2011 as the Head Coach for Team Northumbria before moving to Manchester Thunder (2011-2015). During this time, she led the team to two Netball Super League titles (2012, 2014). In 2015 Tracey was the Interim Coach for the England Roses and led the team to a bronze medal at the 2015 Netball World Cup. She continued to coach England until 2019, winning numerous European Netball Championships and claiming gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. In 2023, she was the Assistant Coach for Suncorp Super Netball’s premiers the Adelaide Thunderbirds.  


Simone McKinnis OAM 

Current Head Coach of the Melbourne Vixens, as a player Simone McKinnis OAM was a member of the Australian teams that won gold at the 1991 and 1995 World Netball Championships, the 1993 World Games and the 1998 Commonwealth Games. After captaining the Melbourne Phoenix to a premiership in the inaugural year of the Commonwealth Bank Trophy in 1997, Simone retired from elite netball in 1998 and turned her sights to coaching, working at the Melbourne Phoenix and Australian Institute of Sport before heading to the Melbourne Vixens in 2012. Simone has been Head Coach since 2013, including winning two premierships (2014 – ANZ Championship; 2020 – Suncorp Super Netball). She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1992 and in 2010 was inducted into the Australian Netball Hall of Fame.


Dr Shane Pill 

Dr Shane Pill is a leading coach educator, developer and thought leader in physical education. He has worked on coach education and development, resource development, committees and research with organisations including the Australian Sports Commission/Sport Australia, Tennis Australia, Cricket Australia, Australian Football League, Rugby Australia, Lacrosse Australia, Australian Rugby League, Netball Australia, and numerous sport clubs locally and internationally. Shane is author of the Play with Purpose resources that explain coaching for the development of player game sense. A Professor in Education at Flinders University in South Australia, Shane has published over 200 books, papers, and reports. He has been a coach since 1988 and is currently the head coach of the Goodwood Saints Football Club Women’s football program. 


Dr Peter Browne  

Dr Peter Browne is a Performance Analyst and Skill Acquisition specialist at the Victorian Institute of Sport. His roles within netball have included working with the Melbourne Vixens, Victorian Fury and 17/U and 19/U State teams. Peter also has on-the-ground experience across a range of sports including hockey, Australian rules football, water polo, sailing and more. His work and research in performance analysis and skill acquisition includes sports analytics, opposition analysis, training design and athlete tracking. By focussing on athlete education and providing context to complex statistics, Peter aims to improve the implementation of sport science for developing athletes and experienced athletes alike. Alongside preparing for the upcoming Melbourne Vixens season, most recently, he attended the Junior Women’s Hockey World Cup in Chile.


Cathy Fellows  
One of Australian netball’s most respected figures, Cathy Fellows has a wealth of knowledge and experience across various stages of the Netball Victoria and Netball Australia pathway systems. Her coaching roles in Victorian netball include the Melbourne Vixens, Melbourne Kestrels, 17/U, 19/U and 21/U State teams, VIS, Victorian Fury, and the Victorian Flames. Most recently Cathy has worked within national programs including the Australian 21/U and Fast 5 teams, as well as Suncorp Super Netball teams the Collingwood Magpies (2017-2018) and the Adelaide Thunderbirds (2019, 2021-2023) including as part of their 2023 premiership campaign.


Julie Hoornweg  
Inaugural Melbourne Vixens coach Julie Hoornweg led the Vixens, and the Phoenix before them, from 2008-2012, including twice to premierships in the Commonwealth Bank Trophy (2005) and ANZ Championship (2009). Julie's extensive knowledge and experience range from having coached and selected for Victorian State teams, and coached internationally for Fiji (1997-99, 2014), England (2000-2002) and Wales (2018-2020). Julie was awarded the Australian Sports Medal (2000) for her contribution to Netball Development and was named Coach of the Year in 2005, 2009 and 2012. 


Caitlin Thwaites  

Caitlin Thwaites is a former World Cup-winning and Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist Australian Diamond who has seen success at all levels of the game. As a tall shooter capable of playing a holding or dynamic role in the circle, Caitlin began her career at the Melbourne Kestrels at the age of 16. Throughout her playing career Caitlin has seen success at the NSW Swifts, Collingwood Magpies and retired a premiership player for the Melbourne Vixens in 2020. Since retiring, Caitlin has worked within the Victorian pathway as a Specialist Coach and VIS Development Coach. 


Kath Knott 

Kath Knott is a former Melbourne Vixens player who has worked throughout the Netball Victoria coaching pathway. Kath is a specialist goaling coach who has coached with the Victorian Fury, Victorian State teams and the Talent Academy program. She holds an Elite Coaching Accreditation and most recently was the Championship coach of Boroondara Express, competing in the Victorian Netball League. Kath is currently a selector for the Victorian 17/U State team. Kath’s extensive elite playing history is highlighted by not only her time with the Melbourne Vixens, but also three premierships with the Victorian Fury in the Australian Netball League, including winning the league MVP.