Mercury (Hobart)

McKinnis confirms commitment to Vixens

- REBECCA WILLIAMS

SIMONE McKinnis says she is committed to her role at the Melbourne Vixens after signing a new deal with the team as the search begins for the Diamonds’ new head coach.

McKinnis will lead the Vixens into an eighth season after extending her contract for another two years with the Victorian Institute of Sport and the Super Netball franchise.

The new deal was finalised before Netball Australia’s shock announceme­nt on Tuesday that it would not be renewing the contract of Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander after more than eight years in the position.

A former champion wing defence and veteran of 63 Tests for Australia, McKinnis’s name has been floated in the past as a potential successor as Diamonds coach. But the longtime Vixens’ mentor said she was only focused on her Super Netball role.

“I’m contracted to the Melbourne Vixens and I’m 100 per cent into that,” McKinnis said. “It was a surprise the news on Tuesday. I have a lot of respect for Lisa and what she has done in her role there.

“I am just working through [planning with the] Vixens and the focus is there.”

Asked if she would be interested in the role if approached, McKinnis added: “I have not even thought about it. At the moment all I’m thinking about is that we are going to New Zealand for practice matches this weekend.”

McKinnis led the Vixens to a championsh­ip win in 2014 in the former trans-Tasman league and has guided them to the finals on four other occasions in the past seven years.

 ?? Picture: GETTY ?? WINNERS ARE GRINNERS: Kyah Simon and Emily van Egmond (left) after a goal against Thailand on Monday night.
Picture: GETTY WINNERS ARE GRINNERS: Kyah Simon and Emily van Egmond (left) after a goal against Thailand on Monday night.

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