Shooter Tegan Philip says she is pleased with how the youngest members of the 2017 Melbourne Vixens line-up have embraced their opportunities ahead of Suncorp Super Netball.
“It’s really exciting to see the opportunities that have arisen for some of the younger girls in the team,” Philip said.
“They have done a great job so far of stepping up. They’re training harder, voicing their opinions and providing feedback.
Four members of the line-up are 22 years old or younger, with 2016 debutant Emma Ryde the youngest at 20 years of age
Emily Mannix and Chloe Watson will be pushing for more court time in 2017, with Mannix recording just six matches and Watson 15 in their two seasons. 20-year-old Emma Ryde played six games in her debut 2016 season.
Jo Weston is the most experienced of the youngsters (25 games), having stepped into a permanent defensive role in 2016.
“It’s great to see how the girls are adapting to not being the young ones in the team anymore,” Philip explained.
After sustaining a season-ending ACL injury during a 2015 pre-season practice match, Philip is excited to return to the court and the challenge of the unknown.
“I’m thoroughly enjoying being back on court with the girls, leading into a new re-vamped season.”
“My knee is going really well, I’m just enjoying it, even though it is pre-season – it’s very hard. It’s just really nice to be back doing what I love to do.
“No doubt there will be some challenges along the way, but the slightly unknown is exciting and something I am looking forward to.”
Having played alongside Karyn Bailey in her last five trans-Tasman netball league seasons, Philip says she is working hard with Ryde and new recruit Mwai Kumwenda to start building strong combinations.
“It’s exciting, it’s new and something that is a bit fresh and there is still some work to do but everyone is adapting very well to what the team needs.”
Photography: Grant Treeby