Linda Pearce August 21, 2012
Julie Corletto is leaving the Melbourne Vixens. Photo: Darrian Traynor
THE Melbourne Vixens will step up their search for a replacement defender for Julie Corletto, who confirmed last night that she would be joining the Northern Mystics for 2013 - and, thus, her Auckland-based husband, Daryl. It remains to be seen whether, as a result, the next Australian captain will be the first to be based in New Zealand.
Not even the departure last week of coach Julie Hoornweg, with whom Corletto was famously at odds in 2011 - and perhaps more quietly so this season - over the limited amount of court time she was granted in her preferred goal defence position, was enough to persuade the brilliant 25-year-old to remain.
Corletto opted, instead, for a family reunion, Daryl Corletto having shifted from the Melbourne Tigers to the New Zealand Breakers last year. Twelve months ago, unhappy with her limited minutes at goal defence after returning from a knee injury, Corletto sought a release from the final year of her Vixens contract. It was denied.
''After everything that's transpired, even going back to 12 months ago, this was always a possibility, and we've obviously been taking that into consideration as we planned for our list for 2013,'' said Netball Victoria's acting chief executive Russell James.
''It just means we actually know what we're looking for now. We'd already been talking to athletes who would complement the list, with or without Julie, so we can now move forward with the discussions with a greater level of certainty. We're confident we're really well positioned, so it's not like it's a shock and we're chasing our tails. We're pretty comfortable with where we're at, despite the fact that we're obviously disappointed that Julie's moving on.
''Julie spoke to me personally, which I certainly appreciated, and we spoke briefly about whether anything else that had transpired over the last 12 months or so had contributed and she said no, Daryl and her thought it was important that they were together, and therefore being based in the same city in New Zealand gave them the best opportunity to do that.''
Applications for the Vixens/VIS coaching position close on August 31, with the aim of installing Hoornweg's replacement by mid-September to provide recruiting input ahead of the early October deadline for the submission of the first 10 listed players. The last two positions will be finalised in November.