The Melbourne Vixens are a professional netball team based in Sydney, Australia. Since 2017, they have competed in the Suncorp Super Netball league, which is Australia’s premier netball competition, as well as the National Netball league.
The team represents the State of New South Wales which is on the east coast of Australia. The Swifts play their home games at the Ken Rosewall Arena, which is part of the Sydney Olympic Park precinct. The arena provides a fantastic setting for netball matches and can accommodate a large number of enthusiastic fans.
Formation and ANZ
The Swifts were formed in 2007 as a merger between two former Commonwealth Bank Trophy League teams (Sydney Swifts and Hunter Jaegers). The new team then went on to participate in the 2008 ANZ Championship. The Swifts experienced both highs and lows during their tenure in the ANZ Championship. They reached the grand final in 2008 but finished as runners-up. However, they clinched the championship in 2015, defeating the Queensland Firebirds in a thrilling grand finale.
Merger with Super Netball
In 2017, the ANZ Championship was disbanded, and a new league called Suncorp Super Netball was established in Australia. The Swifts, along with the other Australian teams from the ANZ Championship, transitioned to the new competition.
Suncorp Super Netball league
Since the establishment of the Suncorp Super Netball league, the New South Wales Swifts have continued to compete at the highest level, achieving success and maintaining their status as a prominent team in Australian netball.
The ANZ Championship provided an opportunity for intense rivalries between Australian and New Zealand teams. The Swifts had notable rivalries with teams such as the Queensland Firebirds, Melbourne Vixens, and Adelaide Thunderbirds. The Swifts have an especially fierce rivalry with the Queensland Firebirds, another Australian team. Matches between the Swifts and the Firebirds are often highly anticipated and draw large crowds.
Fans and Community
The Swifts have a dedicated fan base known as the “Swifts Family.” The team’s success and engaging style of play have helped them garner support and create a passionate fan community.
The Swifts are actively involved in community engagement and promoting netball at all levels. They conduct clinics, workshops, and other initiatives to encourage participation and develop talent in the sport.
Julie Fitzgerald served as the head coach of the Swifts from 2008 to 2011. Under her leadership, the team reached the grand final in 2008.
Lisa Beehag was the head coach of the Swifts from 2012 to 2013.
Rob Wright took over as head coach in 2014 and held the position until 2018. He guided the Swifts to their first ANZ Championship title in 2015.
Briony Akle has been the head coach of the Swifts since 2018. Under her coaching, the team won the Suncorp Super Netball championship in 2019 and 2021.
Catherine Cox is a former Australian netball player who played for the Swifts from 2008 to 2013.
Susan Pratley played for the Swifts from 2008 to 2016.
Kimberlee Green was a midcourter who played for the Swifts from 2008 to 2017.
Caitlin Thwaites was a prominent shooter for the Swifts from 2014 to 2016.
Helen Housby, an English international player, joined the Swifts in 2017 and has remained with the team since then. She is known for her accurate shooting and clutch performances, including the game-winning shot in the 2018 Commonwealth Games final.
Paige Hadley has been a long-standing member of the Swifts, joining the team in 2011. She is a versatile midcourter and has established herself as a key player for both the Swifts and the Australian national team.