ANZ Championship announces 2012 Season Draw
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The worlds best netball league, the ANZ Championship, returns for its fifth season in March 2012. The season opener will see 2010 champions, the Adelaide Thunderbirds, host the NSW Swifts at Netball SA Stadium on Saturday 31 March.
The Melbourne Vixens campaign kicks off against the reigning premier Queensland Firebirds in Brisbane on Sunday 1 April.
In 2012, the competition reverts to its standard 17 week format, comprising 14 regular rounds and the three week Finals Series.
All matches will be played on Saturdays, Sundays or Mondays. As in previous years, Australian and New Zealand teams will play the four other teams from their respective countries twice, and each team from the across the Tasman once.
The Melbourne Vixens draw is a significant positive for its growing fan base, with all home games played on Sundays at Hisense Arena and a total of nine games to be shown live on Network Ten.
With blockbusters at home against Queensland Firebirds on Sunday 29 April, NSW Swifts on Sunday 27 May and Adelaide Thunderbirds on Sunday 3 June, Vixens fans will have the opportunity to experience all the thrills that the ANZ Championship has to offer as the Vixens aim to improve on last seasons fifth place.
In discussing the draw, Vixens coach Julie Hoornweg said, "Were excited to kick off our campaign against the reigning premier in Brisbane, providing an opportunity to test ourselves against the very best the league has to offer".
"The draw also provides a wonderful opportunity for our members and supporters to follow us like never before, with all home games on a Sunday and a total of nine games live on Network Ten".
Although teams have until 31 October to name their final squads of 12, there have been several key signings announced in recent weeks including moves for joint 2011 MVP winner Leana de Bruin (Steel to Magic); 2008 premiership players Cath Cox (Swifts to Fever) and Rebecca Bulley (Swifts to Thunderbirds); and 2009 premiership player Renae Hallinan (Vixens to Thunderbirds).
"On paper 2012 shapes to be one of the most competitive seasons in recent times, with a number of teams strengthened by new player signings", commented Hoornweg.
"We are confident that with a fit and healthy player list we can challenge any team in the competition and get back to a top four position".
Melbourne Vixens membership for season 2012 will go on sale from mid October.
For further information, including the full 2012 Season Draw click here, or to keep up-to-date with all the latest Vixens news follow us on Facebook or Twitter.