By Jackson Russell
Seymour Lions netball coach Elle McDonald made her Super Netball debut earlier this month for Melbourne Vixens in a 68-59 win over the West Coast Fever in Brisbane.
McDonald came onto the court with three minutes left in the first quarter, after Vixens captain Kate Moloney exited court to have her ankle re-taped, registering one goal assist and three feeds.
After winning the Australian Netball League premiership with Victorian Fury last year, the 25-year-old was offered a training partnership with the Vixens.
As part of the team’s training squad, McDonald made the move up to Brisbane for two weeks’ quarantine before joining the league’s hub and being called up to the Vixens’ extended squad.
McDonald said it had been quite a different season to normal.
“Obviously due to COVID-19, it’s looked a little different to their usual preseason but it’s been really good to be part of the team and have access to coaches like Simone McKinnis and Sharelle McMahon and the strength and conditioning coaches,” she said.
“I was really happy to be asked to join the extended squad now the league has allowed 12 players on the bench.
“To take the court for Kate Moloney was fantastic and I loved every second I was out there.”
McDonald was able to soak in the moment when the Vixens called a timeout as she was subbed in, but her first three minutes of Super Netball went in a flash once the whistle blew.
“It definitely went fast once I was out there. I was lucky we were able to call a timeout and had a few moments to take it in and had the support of the girls,” she said.
“Once the whistle went, that three minutes disappeared very quickly but having such amazing players around me made it seamless for me to slot in.”
It didn’t take long after making her debut that McDonald’s phone blew up with messages of support from family, friends and the Seymour Lions.
“Everyone’s been really supportive of my whole netball journey, especially those at Seymour and I know they’ve all been waiting to see me on the TV when they can,” McDonald said.
“After getting on court, everyone was genuinely happy for me, it was overwhelming to get so much support and it just shows the type of people in that community and I’m really happy to be a part of it.”
McDonald’s journey to the Vixens has been a rollercoaster ride – after initially being knocked back from a spot on the Fury’s list in 2018, McDonald persevered and was eventually rewarded with an invitation to train, which led to a spot on the roster and starting at centre in the Fury’s 2019 opener.
“The last 12 months have been a whirlwind and I’ve pushed through the pathway to be with the Vixens,” she said.
“I’m loving the experience and being in Super Netball has given me a taste of what I can do and what I need to do to pursue this career.
“My dream would be to get a contract and be able to do this full-time. I guess I’ll just take the opportunities as they come and keep working hard on my netball skills.”