18/04/2024

Olivia Lewis is excited to get started with the Melbourne Vixens. (Photo: Super Netball)

Vixens recruit Olivia Lewis has always admired the Melbourne-based club from afar. In the 2022 Suncorp Super Netball season, her idols will become her teammates.

It was a tough decision for defender Olivia Lewis to make the decision to move east to continue her netball career, leaving the club she’s been apart of for five years. Since being embraced by the Melbourne Vixens however, it’s one that she wouldn’t change.

Lewis first joined the Fever in 2017 as a training partner, but it wasn’t until 2019 in round one when she made her Super Netball debut.

The defender played 27 games in the green dress before she decided to make the move east to the Melbourne Vixens for the 2022 season.

The Inner Sanctum spoke to Lewis on her decision to move to the Vixens, and what she learnt from training against the best goal shooter in the word.

From the outside looking in, the Melbourne Vixens are a very professional outfit, becoming a destination club for a number of players.

The club also attracted Giants shooter Kiera Austin, who also spoke to The Inner Sanctum about admiring the professionalism that the club demonstrates.

“They are obviously such a professional outfit, a really successful club, and from the outlook really professional and a great culture and they look like they work really hard,” Lewis told The Inner Sanctum.

“They looked like a really good club in terms of their list, with Jo Weston and Em Mannix at the back. They are two defenders that I’m really excited to get training with, play with and learn off.”

Born and raised in Western Australia, it wasn’t an easy decision to make the move east but playing for the Vixens was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

“I’ve grown up in WA my whole life not an easy decision to be moving interstate especially in COVID times, I think as far as Fever I was looking for more opportunities to be out on court.

“Definitely hard to be behind Courtney [Bruce] so I think I could kind of see the direction the club was going. I was kind of thinking a change is going to be good for me.

“Then as the signing period came up I could definitely see a move was probably going to be the best for me. The opportunity coming up at the Vixens is kind of the perfect option, and I’m really excited to be with them next year.”

Olivia Lewis will join Emily Mannix and Jo Weston as the Vixens defenders in 2022. (Photo: Suncorp Super Netball)

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In a COVID-affected world, making the move interstate is a massive decision. Lewis believes that the great support network around her to make the decision making process easier.

“I guess my parents and my partner were really supportive, wanting me to do the best thing for my career. My manager Cam has been awesome in getting all this kind of sorted and chatting to the Vixens for me,” she said.

“Fever have been really supportive of my decision and always see me as a WA kid, so I guess I feel their support even though I’m playing for another club.

“The Vixens have just been phenomenal as well throughout this whole process. Now sorting the logistical side of things, they’ve just been really great in just reassuring that they’ll make everything as smooth as possible.

“Just as far the club goes I already feel so welcomed which is all you can ask for when you’re moving to another state.

“Already having all the players getting around me and supporting me definitely hasn’t made me regret my decision one bit, it’s made me really excited to get over there and get started.

“It’s just crazy because I’ve looked up to them for so long and now I get to call them teammates, that’s really exciting.”

While at the Fever, one person that helped Lewis grow her game was goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler.

Since making the cross to Australia and Super Netball in 2018, the international has won three Player of the Year awards, and has become widely recognised as one of the best goalers in the world.

“She’s one of those players that – obviously we aren’t the same position at all – but she would always any time I’d play against her at training just give me tips like, ‘Liv change your positioning here, what are you doing on me here, let’s maybe do that’ or ‘what you are doing is really great’ and things like that.

“She was always so committed to making me a better defender which I really valued.

“Obviously she’s absolutely amazing and I think it was good training against her. Now playing against her is probably not going to be so fun, but she definitely helped my growth a lot as a defender.”

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