Kiera Austin will join the Vixens in 2022 (Photo: Super Netball)

New Vixen Kiera Austin is still pinching herself about joining the Melbourne Vixens for the upcoming season after moving from the Giants.

It’s the move that has sent shockwaves through the netball community, with Kiera Austin making the move from the Giants to the Melbourne Vixens for season 2022.

Austin made a name for herself in 2020 when she cemented herself in the Giants starting seven playing across both goal attack and wing attack.

Although 2021 wasn’t the year Austin had planned, rupturing her ACL in round one in Adelaide, only a few months after she made her Diamonds debut.

The Inner Sanctum spoke with Austin on her decision to move to the Vixens and how the year on the sidelines has prepared her for the year to come.

The reason that the Vixens stood out for Austin was the professionalism of the club and she expects Austin to be back in the hunt for 2022.

“I think obviously they had a position at the Vixens where they needed a goal attack and I think for me, there are a few very good shooters at the Giants and I just needed to be on court and playing and I think it was perfect timing,” Austin told The Inner Sanctum.

“I’ve always admired the professionalism of the Melbourne Vixens, even though they were wooden spooners this year. I definitely know that wasn’t down to a lack of talent or skill, they’ve obviously had a lot to deal with this season as well.

“I don’t think that really crossed my mind at all, I just think they were the professional team and it felt like the obvious option for me.”

Another thing that drew Austin to the Vixens was the chance to play with Diamonds midcourters Kate Moloney and Liz Watson.

“Certainly when I had the chance to play with them at Diamonds, I was like ‘wow, this was huge for me’ and Lizzy is such an established wing attack in that environment too.

“Again with the timing, it just seemed right and leading into Comm Games and World Cup, it’s obviously something that played up in my decision.

“I think Kate is such a bloody awesome leader, you can listen to her chat to the little team huddles and you just want to be a part of it, so very excited to work with both of them.”

Austin playing against Kate Moloney. (Photo: Super Netball)

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It was a tough decision for Austin, having to leave the Super Netball club she’s been apart of since it first started in 2017, but she believes that she’s still got another level.

“If I could explain every week how I felt and everything that was going through my mind, it was something that took me weeks and weeks to decide, I was considering having to move interstate with COVID.

“It’s really difficult time with my rehab, making that move does disrupt it a little bit and there’s going to be a transition period but in saying that, the Giants have been really good at still looking after me so far.

“Heaps and heaps of things that I had to weigh up and I think at the end of the day, the fact that I was having thoughts of ‘maybe I have got the potential to be unlocked at another club.’

“As soon as I had that thought, I was like ‘okay, it definitely means something to me’ and I think once I had a conversation with Simone, I just was really excited about the opportunity.”

“I think I’m still pinching myself every day that this is where I’ve landed and I do have that opportunity to work with some of the best netballers in the world.”

Making the move interstate is a tough decision but Austin was lucky to have her family help her with the decision.

“I think one of the biggest people involved in that was my partner, he’s decided to move down with me which is awesome, but I have a very close knit family at home and I think my sister is more devastated to see me go, but she’s ultimately very excited for me and I think she knows deep down that this is the best for me.

“They were all very integral parts in my decision and I think they are excited to see, I’m the youngest of the family, so to see the young one picking up her stuff and moving interstate to chase her dreams. I think they know it’s the right thing for me as well.”

Austin is ready for life as a Vixen. (Photo: Super Netball)

Another shooter joining Austin in 2022 is Rahni Samason and Austin is excited to be able to play alongside the young gun.

“Oh my gosh, I’m so excited. I sent her a message after that awesome debut she had and obviously a fellow ACL rehabber and I said ‘if I can see someone come back from an ACL and play that well holy moly I’m excited to come back.’

“So she’s got so much talent and I think it’s awesome that she’s really stuck to her guns and showed what she can do with the opportunity.

“I’ve spoken to her a few times when we were away and she’s so lovely, so I’m really keen to get down and get to know her a bit more as well.”

2021 was hard for Austin, missing out on the season with an ACL but she was able to take a lot out of her time on the sidelines.

“Weirdly enough, injuries give you so much time to see the court from a different perspective and it definitely gave me that passion for a bit of coaching, and I think I flourished in that area seeing things on court and actually relaying that to the team at the Giants.

“If anything I think it’s ignited the fire in my belly to come back and play, I only really had one season where I was playing consistent netball and to be honest, only half of it was at goal attack.

“So, I don’t even know what I’m capable of yet, having a full season playing in that position and playing with the likes of Lizzy and Kate. I think there is a lot of potential left in me and I’m excited to see where I go with it too.”

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