Victorian talent to feature in Centre of Excellence team

Image: Josh Brightman

Emily Mannix, who debuted with the Melbourne Vixens during their 2015 ANZ Championship campaign, has been named vice-captain of the Netball Centre of Excellence team.

Mannix and her Netball Centre of Excellence teammates will tour Tasmania and compete in a series of warm-up matches against Scotland and Wales in the lead-up to August’s Netball World Cup in Sydney.

The series, also featuring Australian Netball League side Tassie Spirit, will be played in Hobart and Launceston between 30 July and 2 August.

Victoria’s Nicole Richardson, who was a Centre of Excellence specialist coach in 2014, will be in charge of the team.

Richardson, who played 32 Tests for Australia between 1999 and 2003, said the experience of taking on two of the world’s top 10 nations a week before their Netball World Cup campaigns begin would be a fantastic experience for these emerging athletes.

“The depth of talent in this age group is exceptional and it’s a wonderful opportunity to be exposed to a high standard of international competition,” said Richardson.

“It will be a totally new experience for a lot of these athletes. The group has only got a very short time frame to gel then you throw in the extra challenges of travel, being away from home, that’s going to add another dimension.”

“It’s a step up from representing your state.”

Richardson is one of an elite group of athletes that’s represented Australia at pinnacle events in different sports.

A member of Australia’s triumphant 2003 Netball World Cup side and the 2002 Commonwealth Games gold medal team, Richardson also won a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics as part of the Australian women’s softball line-up.

Richardson will work with two assistant coaches in Cathy Fellows and Christine Voge. Fellows, also from Victoria, is an experienced coach at ANL, VNL and state levels and is currently a national 17/U selector and specialist coach for the ‘talls’ program at the Centre of Excellence.

The Centre of Excellence touring party:
Taylah Davies (NSW/NSW Swifts, captain)
Emily Mannix (VIC/Melbourne Vixens, vice-captain)
Toni Anderson (NSW)
Keira Austin (NSW)
Kristina Brice (NSW)
Emily Burgess (South Australia)
Beryl Friday (QLD/Queensland Firebirds)
Hulita Haukinima (QLD)
Annika Lee-Jones (WA)
Numi Tupaea (WA)
Maddy Turner (SA)
Georgie Virgo (SA)