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ALEX SCOTT & STAFF
WEST GIPPSLAND FOOTBALL
NETBALL COMPETITION

Pubished on 12 September 2022
NETBALL TEAM OF THE YEAR

By David Nagel

Two-time league best and fairest winner Renee Pilkington is still dreaming of winning this year’s premiership – but has capped off a terrific season of individual brilliance by being named captain of the 2022 WGFNC Team of the Year (TOTY).

Pilkington, who polled 26 votes to add this year’s league best and fairest award to her 2019 success, will lead Inverloch-Kongwak into this week’s mouth-watering grand final contest against Bunyip.

Pilkington spent time through the midcourt in the early part of the season, but it’s in her preferred position of goal defence where she has stood out from the pack this year.

Athletic, strong, and with brilliant game sense, she has been a thorn in the side of opposition teams all season.

Pilkington and Korumburra-Bena’s Gemma Dixon have earned their fourth selections, joining former Giant’s gun Kim Hillberg as the only three players to do so.

Dixon has once again been recognised as one of the four best-performed defenders in the league, earning her fourth start on the interchange bench.

Inverloch’s magnificent season has been recognised in this year’s team, with Jarrad Walker being selected as coach and Lanni Pryor (WA) earning her first TOTY award.

Walker has carefully orchestrated the Sea Eagles rise to the top of the ladder, while Pryor has been something else throughout the course of 2022.

She has had an outstanding season for the Eagles, finishing third behind Pilkington and Bunyip’s Ally Johnson in this year’s league medal.

Waiting for Inverloch in this week’s grand final is Bunyip, and it’s easy to see why with three of the mighty Bulldogs being chosen in the TOTY.

Goal Shooter Jasmin Mackie has earned her first TOTY selection after a great season of capitalising on the superb work of a wonderful midcourt.

Mackie is a huge challenge for any opponent, with subtle craft, an imposing presence, and deadly shot at goal making her the pre-eminent goaler this year.

The Bulldogs are electrifying through the midcourt, with Ally Johnson (WD) stepping up quickly to be one of the leading players in the competition.

Only 12 months ago Johnson finished third in the B Grade league best and fairest award…and this year she was hot on the heels of Pilkington in A Grade.

Pilkington 26, Johnson 25, with Pryor next best on 18!

Complementing the skills of Mackie and Johnson is Chloe Papley, the dynamite and feisty wing attack who is one of the heart-and-soul players of the league.

Papley hates getting beaten and has a competitive streak that has driven her team to new heights this season.

This is Papley’s second TOTY selection, adding to last year’s gong.

The season of Tooradin-Dalmore may have come to and end, but it’s been a season of substance for the Seagulls goalers, with Alex Maher (GA) earning a starting selection and Alex Duff a formidable back up on interchange.

Maher returns to the TOTY after earning selection in 2019, while Duff is the proud recipient of a certificate for the first time.

Nar Nar Goon also had an exceptional season, and has two players joining the elite of the competition this year.

Chantelle Dale has had a fabulous season through the midcourt, finishing equal fourth in the league award, and has been chosen as a thoroughly deserving starting centre in the team.

And Hollie Keysers (GK) has been her effervescent self in defence, putting enormous pressure on every opposition shot at goal.

Keysers continues a great legacy for her family since the WGFNC began in 2017, with sister Georgia earning selection from 2017 to 2019, and Hollie backing up her award from last year.

That’s five from five for the Keysers, with no team being selected in 2020!

This year’s TOTY is rounded out with three first-time selections on the interchange bench.

Kooweerup may not have had the season it desired, but Jayda McConkey was a standout for the Demons in goal attack.

Dalyston’s Chloe Bramley had a fantastic season for the Magpies through the midcourt, while Cora Lynn’s Rhiannon Haines has meticulously earned her spot after a great year in goal defence for the Cobras.

Haines finished equal sixth with Korumburra-Bena’s Dixon in this year’s league award.

A total of 43 players have now earned selection in the TOTY since the WGFNC began in 2017.

GS          Jasmin Mackie                   Bunyip

GA          Alex Maher                         Tooradin-Dalmore

WA         Lanni Pryor                         Inverloch-Kongwak

C             Chantelle Dale                   Nar Nar Goon

WD         Ally Johnson                       Bunyip

GD          Renee Pilkington              Inverloch-Kongwak         Captain

GK          Hollie Keysers                   Nar Nar Goon

 

INT         Alex Duff                             Tooradin-Dalmore           Goaler

INT         Jayda McConkey              Kooweerup                        Goaler

INT         Chloe Papley                      Bunyip                                  Mids

INT         Chloe Bramley                   Dalyston                              Mids

INT         Gemma Dixon                   Korumburra-Bena           Defenders

INT         Rhiannon Haines              Cora Lynn                            Defenders

 

Coach    Jarrad Walker                    Inverloch-Kongwak