The Victorian Fury are gearing up for their opening game of the Deakin University Australian Netball League this weekend.
Kicking their season off on Saturday against the Canberra Giants, Fury will finish the weekend off with a curtain closer against the Giants following the Vixens match at Melbourne Arena.
Captained by Melbourne Vixens squad member, Jacqui Newton, who enters her third season with Fury, is positive the young and upcoming team is ready to put it all on the line on the weekend.
“It’s great having the team come together. We’re just finalising combinations and working out what we’re going to put out there on court,” Newton said.
The two teams last met in the finals in 2018, with the Fury suffering a loss 47-58, with just six of the current Fury team members playing in that match.
“We’ve got a few younger ones coming through which is awesome, we’re constantly learning new things off each other,” Newton said.
“It’s been tough having so many girls in so many different programs such as Nationals and Vixens, trying to get it all together, so I feel like once we’re all out there together, we’ll hit the ground running,” Newton said.
An experienced and highly-respected coaching group will lead the team this year, with former Australian netballer and Melbourne Vixens assistant coach, Di Honey taking on the head coach role. Joining her as assistant coach will be Eloise Southby, a former goaler for Melbourne Phoenix and Australia, alongside returning Fury apprentice coach Jess Whitfort who is well renowned in the Bupa Victorian Netball League (VNL) – Victoria’s premier state netball league.
A strong leadership group has been named with returning Fury members Jacqui Newton, Emma Ryde and Sacha McDonald. Having been a training partner with the Vixens, Newton was honoured to receive the call from Di Honey to say that she would be captaining the side.
“It was something I wanted to take in my stride and contribute to the group, hopefully I can do that on and off the court,” Newton said.
“There have been so many amazing role models around me, learning things on and off court, in terms of management and recovery and on court in terms of intensity, voice and confidence. I think my overall confidence has really grown over the last couple of years, being in that Vixen environment,” Newton said.
Unfortunately, Fury will be without 2018 League MVP and Victorian Fury MVP Rahni Samason this season, as injury struck her late in 2018, sidelining her with a ruptured ACL. With an upended goal end, Fury sees the inclusion of former Melbourne Vixens player Emma Ryde, who is no stranger to the elite environment, fitting seamlessly back into the team.
Having an injury herself, Newton understands the mixed emotions being part of the rehab group.
“Having such a spritely group of girls, it’s really easy, I know with my ankle injury earlier this year it was really easy just to slot back in here and still feel part of the team, injured or not,” Newton said.
A successful season for Fury members saw the advancement of Lara Dunkley and Tayla Honey into the Melbourne Vixens team, whilst Brooke Allan is now a training partner with the Collingwood Magpies.
Fury take on the Canberra Giants at 5.00pm at the State Netball and Hockey Centre on Saturday and follow the Vixens on Sunday at 7.30pm at Melbourne Arena.