Super Netball's newest club has officially landed, with SEN confirming the competition's eighth club will be known as the Melbourne Mavericks.
Netball's newest franchise will be headed by former Roses coach Tracey Neville and former Fever player and foundation Magpie Shae Bolton-Brown as head coach and General Manager of Netball Operations respectively.
The Mavericks name embodies the spirit of being unapologetic boundary breakers which is reflected in the logo and by the playing group who will don sky blue, pacific cyan and sapphire in 2024.
Speaking to media during Wednesday's launch of the new Melbourne-based side, Bolton-Brown said the club has learnt from the mistakes of the Magpies and understands how important building a solid foundation is for future success.
"We have this opportunity where we can learn from what's been before and we are, and I think that for netball, we are building something that has to have a legacy," Bolton-Brown said.
"What we've got here is this huge machine that underpins the Mavericks, SEN has everything that we need to be able to be number one and create that stability that we need to be able to go into the future.
"Then second of all, what we're creating, and it stems from our brand, is that we're creating a culture and we're making sure that every single person that we bring into the tent is embodying what we're about and the culture we want to be creating that we think and believe has legs to leave a really awesome legacy.
"So we think that with the operational piece underpinning that ability to reach the hearts and minds of so many more people and bring them into that netball tent. Then on top of that, building this club that's going to be underpinned with values that make you Mavericks, is for us the recipe to make sure we're here forever.
The Mavericks are looking to set up shop in the south east of Melbourne and want to grow the sport, welcoming everyone to get on board the Mavericks bandwagon from the strong fanbase that netball already has, to welcoming new fans to the game.
"We are here to put our stake in the sand in the southeast and we want to attract all of those people out there that want to get on board the Mavericks train and see netball look a little bit different," Bolton-Brown said.
"We think that we have the opportunity here at SEN to start to appeal to a new audience and to bring in new netball fans. Netball is such a beautiful sport, and we think that it means that if you know about it and can see it and it's seen in a way that feels a little bit relatable to you then we're gonna grow this sport."
With Super Netball and the Australian Netball Player's Association yet to sign the new CBA, prospective foundation players are yet to officially put pen to paper to solidify their move to the new team. But Neville and Bolton-Brown have found other ways of embedding the players into the club, which includes getting them involved in the branding of the team.
"In a way, it's not been the ideal process for us as a club to try and create that stability early on," Neville said.
"But from our point of view, it's about embedding the players really early and also about working together as a team so although we can't make them binding contracts, which we're hoping to be able to do in the next maybe few weeks, we're able to actually embed them in different ways into our club and values.
"So they've been part of all this branding and stuff that Shae and the company have been doing so that's been a real positive step as well and being on that journey that we're on."
Without naming names, Neville is excited about the list that the club have put together, with the group having a good mix of established names and those that are ready to break out and establish themselves on the Super Netball stage.
"I think the list that we've put together is really exciting," Neville said. "I'm so excited about what this group of players can actually put out on court. I think we went down the road of established players and players about to establish themselves and for me that's so much more exciting.
"We've got room to grow and I think that's huge in this competition that you know to have that potential through a playing group and a playing group that have not only come from great experience within their previous clubs, but also had that finals and grand final experience is huge.
"I think for our playing group it's clear to see that we have an expectation to get into finals and players that want to get to the finals and that is where you want to be as a competitive team going into this Suncorp Super Netball."
The priority now for the Mavericks is to create the culture off the court. With players coming from clubs across the country, creating a strong culture is front of mind for the first ever Mavericks playing group.
"I think with the girls what they've done is they've sort of connected with each other at the moment and a lot of the stuff at this point is about doing the stuff off court and culture is massive for me, my heritage of where I've come through in my coaching journey," Neville said.
"That is one of the major things that we're working on at the moment in respect to getting what we want and what expectations we feel of each other and where we want to go as a team and why we're here, you know, why they've chosen the Melbourne Mavericks as their team this season, some have made some great, somewhat unexpected moves but moves that we totally embrace and accept them as our family and they have such great value to us."