President’s Update

It has been a little while since my last update and whilst things have been on hold for much of Victoria with COVID restrictions, the committee has been working continuously to ensure we are ready and raring to go once restrictions are lifted. 


Thank you to everyone who participated in the webinars / Q&A sessions we have held. It is extremely important to our committee that we get your feedback and are able to answer your questions in order to continually improve the way we operate and, more importantly, ensure that all our members feel like they have a voice within our organisation. Re-appointed Tour Manager, Sonya Febbo, and I are always available to answer questions via email, even if no webinar is planned.

Head Coach Announcement

VMMNA are thrilled to welcome back inaugural Head Coach Christina Puopolo to the role for a second year. Christina is looking forward to continuing the work she began last year and had the following to say: 

I am honoured, proud and very excited with the opportunity to be able to lead VMMNA as Head Coach once again in 2021 and looking forward to working with our talented coaches and players.

The intention is to continue developing the distinct coaching and playing model we put in place for 2020. The model was developed to give coaches and players a clear picture of what knowledge and skills are required to operate effectively at an elite level. This is to ensure that Victoria continues to be successful in creating a high performance environment for all our player pathways.

We will continue with our work on player and coach development, team success and team culture. For player development the four phases I particularly would like to specialise in are: discovery, skill acquisition, game training and team performance. From a coach development perspective, our coaches will be guided on how to facilitate the four player development phases by providing an elite environment. This will include development of the functional game skills required and preparation of skilful players for performance by teaching them how to apply these skills in a high pressure team environment, which will inevitably result in leading successful teams.

By helping coaches with planning their sessions and working with them courtside I will also place an emphasis on the holistic approach of coaching. By this I mean, not just developing skills, tactics and fitness in isolation of each other, but rather developing the players’ technical and perception/decision making skills as well as the required Netball fitness in conjunction with each other as part of a building block strategy.

A key focus point for my vision and philosophy will be creating a successful brand of Netball by building a united pipeline of elite players and coaches.

During these unprecedented times it is most important to find a way to engage the players and keep them involved in our sport, especially during stage 4 restrictions. Our biggest challenge will be how we prepare the athletes for Nationals under these circumstances!

Christina Puopolo

It is extremely exciting to have Christina back building on what she started in the Head Coach role last year. She is incredibly passionate about the men’s game and now our whole playing group and coaching staff get the opportunity to experience this passion first-hand.

Coaches & Managers

The interview process for all team coaches has begun and managers will be following shortly. We look forward to announcing these once the process has been completed in coming weeks.


Originally booked in for September this year we will be following Government and Netball Victoria Return-To-Play guidelines and will advertise dates, times and conditions for these as soon as we as we can.  Stay tuned to our socials and your emails for details to come.


New uniform options coming out of the competition earlier in the year are still being worked through, we are hoping to see some mock-ups once manufacturing can continue in order to finalise our decision.  There are some exciting concepts we look forward to seeing come to light!

MLeague – Senior & Junior

It is hopeful that both Senior & Junior will have competitions this year, albeit in shortened forms.  If we are able to proceed this year there will be likely be adjustment to game length and starting times to allow for safe transition of players to and from courts. Our current plan will be to play Junior MLeague on the same night, prior to Senior MLeague games at the same venue in order to run both competitions in the most efficient way. Something for all team captains and players to be aware of is there may be as little as two week’s notice for the start of competition depending on government restrictions, so have your team entries at the ready. 

Movember X VMMNA

After a successful Movember Round of MLeague in 2019, we are once again joining up with the team for 2020. Men’s health is in crisis. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian men. Testicular cancer is the second most common cancer affecting men aged 18 to 39. And three out of four suicides in Australia are men. This needs to change. Come November you can make the difference to stop our fathers, brothers, mates and sons dying too young. Start organising your team now to raise funds by being a Mo’Bro or Mo’Sista and details of the VMMNA Challenge and where you can sign up will be coming in the next couple of months.

Kylie Pearce Resignation

It is with great sadness that I announce the resignation of Kylie Pearce from the committee. Kylie has been a committee member for a number of years now and has always worked to ensure we operate with integrity and adhere to our constitution and policies, whilst never being afraid to call out anything that looks like it may not be following this. For that, I have always been appreciative. 

Testament to her meticulousness was how well she took a magnifying glass to the proposed AMMNA Constitution on behalf of Victoria, no easy task! Her passion has always been umpiring and as a result she has been able to provide insight continuously from that segment of our organisation that would potentially have been missed. I know Kylie is excited to see VMMNA at the point of implementation of a High Performance Umpire Programme, a passion project of hers, that simply wouldn’t exist without her and has been years in the making.

On behalf of the VMMNA Community, I’d like to thank Kylie for her years of service to the committee, the friendship and comradeship she has given many in our community and of course, we look forward to seeing that cheeky smile around men’s netball once again, in whatever capacity that will be in.

As a result of this casual vacancy, Sonya Febbo has been appointed to fill the committee role until the next AGM.

High Performance Umpire Academy

We’re excited to be launching the High Performance Umpire Academy, in partnership with Inspire Netball. The Umpire Academy leverages Inspire’s existing program to establish high performing behaviours with a view of developing umpires to become high achievers.

VMMNA and Inspire already have a strong partnership having worked on the Boys Emerging Talent Academy (see below) and the High Performance Umpire Academy will enable us to provide a pathway program that promotes high performance learnings for all VMMNA Umpires wishing to nominate for the AMMNA Championships. The Academy’s aim will be to improve the standard of umpires and in turn have a higher percentage of umpires selected to attend the Championships.

The program will commence in line with the Victorian State Team trials (As mentioned, these are currently TBC given current restrictions) and will run up until March 2021 in preparation for umpire selections to the Australian Men’s and Mixed Netball Championships.

It will also be led by current Suncorp Super Netball Umpires James Matthews and Tim Marshall – who both hold an AA Badge accreditation. 

Find out more about the Academy here or register here.

Boys Emerging Talent Academy

Our partnership with Inspire sees the BETA expand to Western & Eastern Academies. With the initial Academy intake success was shown with players bridging the gap from junior netball competitions to our junior state teams. The BETA provides a terrific opportunity for young players wanting to continue play netball, get top quality coaching and improve on their skill set.

Sponsorship Manager

I am thrilled to welcome former AMMNA Committee member Michael Hutchinson to the VMMNA in the role of Sponsorship Manager. Michael will liaise with our generous inaugural sponsors, the committee and seek out further opportunities for the VMMNA in this space. If you wish to contact Michael to discuss sponsorship opportunities, big or small, you can at


A reminder that, because of the new voted in VMMNA Constitution, we have another AGM coming up this year! As there will be no doubt some form of restrictions still upon us, we will advise how the meeting will take place once we know what is allowed to occur in Victoria.  Even years see the Vice President and Secretary positions vacant for two-year terms, with the President and Treasurer up again in odd years. Standard committee positions become vacant each year.

Remember, you are always welcome to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Please continue to stay safe, do the right thing by yourself and your loved ones and hopefully we can be back at the courts together soon.

Yours in netball,


President – Matt Blomeley –

Vice President – Craig Moore –

Treasurer – Grant Crocker –

Secretary – Sue Owen –

Committee: Simon Cartwright, Michael Davis & Sonya Febbo

Marketing & Communications – Simon Cartwright –

Sponsorship Manager – Michael Hutchinson –

Tour Manager – Sonya Febbo –

State Teams Head Coach – Christina Puopolo –

Community Fund – Michael Davis –

MLeague –