The Fury enter the new season chasing a fourth consecutive title after they have recorded victories in the past three Grand Finals.
The ANL is entering its ninth season and the competition has undergone a major change, aligning itself with the world’s best netball league, the ANZ Championship.
The aim is to give the ANL greater exposure on the netball landscape while continuing to be a vital national pathway for athletes, coaches and umpires.
This season ANZ Championship athletes will be eligible to play for their ANL-aligned teams. But no more than five is allowed to be included in any team each game.
Fury begins its title defence at home with Sunday’s match being played at Hisense Arena following the ANZ Championship clash between Melbourne Vixens and Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic.
New coach Cathy Fellows, who previously coached the team in 2011-2012 and also spent two seasons in charge of the Victorian Flames, said the young athletes in her squad were looking forward to the opportunity of playing alongside and against ANZ Championship opponents over the season.
“We’ll give all 12 squad members the opportunity (to play) on Saturday night and we’ve been working closely with Vixens so it should be an easy transition,” Fellows said.
Mid-courter Ella Priestly, 25, is looking forward to the opening match of the season.
“Being Victorian netballers we just want to play a hard game but also have consistency. That is definitely one of the things we have been aiming on – having a consistent four quarters and having everyone do their bit for the team,” Priestly said.
The Fury’s preparation this year has differed from previous years.
“We are all still heavily involved with our VNL clubs so it has been a bit different managing everyone’s loads and just trying to get together when we can.”
The DC North East Blaze star said the team is focusing its attention on each game as it comes and is not thinking about overall success this season too much as the Fury chase a fourth consecutive title.
“It is a lot different this year with the Vixens not dropping back so we are just going to take it week by week but obviously, that is the end goal but that is not on our minds too much at all.”
The Victorian Fury will play two matches against the Canberra Darters on Saturday and Sunday.
Victorian Fury v Canberra Darters
Saturday 30 April at 6:00pm
State Netball and Hockey Centre, Melbourne
Sunday 1 May at 3:00pm
Hisense Arena, Melbourne