VNL 2023 | Round 1 Preview: New season, new opportunities

A NEW season is upon us in the Victorian Netball League (VNL) Championship Division.

It has been a long time since last season’s entertaining Grand Final, and finally after what must have felt like a long six month offseason for players and coaches alike, it is finally time to get back into it all over again.

Over the next 18 rounds, ten teams will battle it out to be crowned champion.

Will the City West Falcons go back to back? Will Geelong be able to put the pain of losing last year’s decider behind it and bounce back? Will a new title contender emerge? All this and more will be answered in the next five months.

There are plenty of faces wearing different colours in season 2023, but some who are staying put where they were last season.

Former Lightning stars Fiona Fowler and Shae Brown are back at the Lightning this season after not playing in 2022.  

After making a spectacular return to netball with the Casey Demons part way through last year, Renae Ingles is back at the Dees for another year.

Speaking of the Dees, Ingles is not the only big name at Casey this season, with former Vixen Tayla Honey returning to play in the VNL after spending a year at the London Pulse in the UK’s Netball Super League.

The reigning champions the Falcons have had a busy off season.

Star defender Sarah Szczykulski has left the Falcons to join the Boroondara Express, while Caitlin Hill has also left to join the North East Blaze.

Coming the other way is Collingwood SSN training partner Sienna Allen, who comes to the Falcons from the Blaze.

One player who is not moving sides in 2023 is former Vixen Kaylia Stanton, who is staying at the Hawks for another season.

VNL Round 1 Fixture

Ariels vs North East Blaze

Melbourne University Lightning vs Southern Saints

Peninsula Waves vs Boroondara Express

Casey Demons vs Hawks Netball

Geelong Cougars vs City West Falcons

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