McDonald, one of the five official training partners of the Melbourne Vixens

Seymour Premiership coach Elle McDonald has taken her netball career to the next level, named as one of the Melbourne Vixens’ five official training partners.

As part of the Suncorp Super Netball League, Australia’s premier netball competition, McDonald’s will train alongside some of the best in the business including Kate Moloney, Tegan Philip, Liz Watson and Jo Weston.

McDonald, 25, has just had a hugely successful year, helping his Australian Netball League team Victorian Fury win a title before leading Seymour to a leading League A flag from Goulburn Valley.

It is these accomplishments that now put McDonald’s in a prime position to improve its game on the pitch alongside the Vixens.

“It’s an incredible opportunity. I am very honored to have the chance to train alongside the Vixen Girls, ”said McDonald.

“To be exposed to people like (Vixens coach) Simone McKinnis, I just want to learn as much as possible.”

McKinnis, one of Australia’s top netball exports, competed in 63 tests for the national team and was a Commonwealth Games gold medalist on the 1998 winning team.

With training at State Netball and Hockey Center starting last month, McDonald said that despite the initial nerves, she was able to adapt quickly to her new surroundings.

“In our first few sessions the girls were all really welcoming and friendly,” McDonald said.

“I try to use their higher level experience and abilities as motivation to push myself forward.”

But at a particularly ‘blooper-worthy’ time, McDonald’s began his tenure with the club under amusing circumstances.

On her first exercise, McDonald slipped on a cone and landed on her back, while fellow training partner Ruby Barkmeyer of Bendigo hit her finger on her first pass.

“It wasn’t the best start and it was quite embarrassing,” McDonald said with a laugh.

“We laughed about it, but you’ll get over it quickly and make sure you do it better next time.”

As another year of competition looms, McDonald has said she will line up with the Fury again, with opportunities open to her in the middle three positions.

And not one to rest on her laurels, McDonald’s said she will continue to find ways to raise her level of play until next season.

“I will be looking to maintain my intensity during those 15 minutes and throughout a game as well,” she said.

“You want to stay focused and on.

“But I’m sure in (this Vixens training environment) every aspect of my game will improve.

“That’s what I really hope to get out of it.”

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Milton S. Rodgers

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