Captain Kate Leading Her Own Way
Huddle up Vixens – captain Kate Moloney has the floor.
It’s three-quarter time, scores are level, and one of Suncorp Super Netball’s most passionate leaders is about to burst into another rousing address.
The crowd roars but none of the Vixens can hear, so focused are they on the din blaring from their skipper’s mouth.
For anyone else, the captain’s revving engine could be intimidating. They’re familiar with it now, so the tone of her voice and honesty in her eyes only reassures them that they have the strength to find another gear.
And they do.
This is the Kate Moloney netball fans know. The one whose pep talks command the attention of her teammates and stir them to action.
It’s a unique style of leadership that is a blend of influences from former captain Bianca Chatfield, coach Simone McKinnis and a tight core of Vixens who have played together since their mid-teens.
“I was lucky in the early years when I started at the Vixens to have Bianca Chatfield as captain,” Moloney said.
“She was my captain for the first three years. She took me under her wing.
“It didn’t matter how old you were or how many years you’d been there, she could get us all going in the same direction. I still chat to her a lot.”
Chatfield is proud that Moloney has put her spin on the position, just as she did after learning from her own Vixens mentors Eloise Southby and Sharelle McMahon.
“From the day Kate arrived she was loud, energetic and passionate. But it took her time to work out how to use that.
“Losing still hurts her, you can see that. But she knows now how to take time out, and when to get back and give her energy to the team.
“The girls know she’s real. That’s why they gravitate to her.”
Moloney’s hunger to learn is an asset on and off the court. After graduating last year from Australian Catholic University with a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science, the 26-year-old has begun a new challenge.
A Master of Business (Sport Management) at Deakin University is packing even more leadership skills into her armoury.
Moloney will draw on all her powers on Monday when the Vixens and Collingwood meet in another Battle on Monday at Melbourne Arena.
It’s a rivalry she feels deep within, having defied her immediate family as a youngster to follow the Magpies’ AFL enemy Richmond.
“All my family barracked for Collingwood, but my aunts convinced me to go for the Tigers,” Moloney said.
Moloney’s personal duel with Kim Ravaillion will be one of many highlights. The pair were opponents at national championships as teenagers and that contest has been carried into the highest level.
“She runs all day, is extremely fit and reads it really well,” Moloney said of her centre rival Ravaillion.
“The best centres know when to come in and out of games, when to create and that’s what Kim does well.”