It may be a new competition, but two familiar names were at the fore of the inaugural Alex Scott and Staff West Gippsland Football Netball Competition vote count on Monday night.
Inverloch-Kongwak’s Andrew Soumilas was a runaway winner of the first senior football best and fairest medal, while Korumburra-Bena superstar Christie Hillberg was a clear winner of the A grade netball award.
Soumilas made his name in the Gippsland League, where he won the Trood Award and Rodda Medal on two separate occasions – for Garfield in 2005 and Drouin in 2011 – having also won the West Gippsland Football League Breheny Medal for the Stars in 2004.
The gun on-baller spent a season at Narre Warren before returning to Garfield and claiming the Ellinbank and District Football League’s Alf Walton Medal in 2013.
Soumilas joined brother Ben at Inverloch-Kongwak last year and his arrival has coincided with an uptick in fortunes for the club.
Having finished sixth in 2015, the Sea Eagles played off in the grand final of the Alberton Football Netball League last year and have been the pacesetters in the first season of the newly formed West Gippsland competition, winning the minor premiership and going on to reach this Saturday’s grand final.
The 34-year-old’s fifth senior league best and fairest award arrived on the back of 10 best-on-ground performances from 18 matches, only polling on one other occasion for a total of 31 votes.
Another multiple league medal winner, Brendan Kimber of Phillip Island, was runner up on 20 votes, one ahead of Kilcunda-Bass co-coach and former Collingwood utility Brent Macaffer on 19.
The A grade netball count was only slightly closer, with Hillberg finishing seven votes clear of Bunyip defender Ebony Mumford.
The decorated goal defence tallied 25 of a possible 30 votes between rounds two and 11 on her way to adding the West Gippsland best-and-fairest medal to her six Alberton league awards – all before her 26th birthday.
Dalyston’s Andrew Gennaccaro was the reserves best-and-fairest, while Cora Lynn’s Tristan Fernandez-Phillips and Bunyip’s Sage Tapner scooped the under-18 and under-16 awards respectively.
Dalyston pair Melissa Beveridge and Emma Ton took home the B grade and C grade medals, with Korumburra-Bena’s Shae Kyle (17-and-under), Bunyip’s Natalia Dijkstra (15-and-under) and Inverloch-Kongwak’s Asha Boyd Metselaar (13-and-under) collecting the junior netball awards.
The Club Championship was awarded to Cora Lynn Football Netball Club.
FULL LIST OF AWARD WINNERS
Senior best and fairest medal: Andrew Soumilas (Inverloch-Kongwak)
Reserves best and fairest medal: Andrew Gennaccaro (Dalyston)
Under-18 best and fairest medal: Tristan Fernandez-Phillips (Cora Lynn)
Under-16 best and fairest medal: Sage Tapner (Bunyip)
A grade best and fairest medal: Christie Hillberg (Korumburra Bena)
B grade best and fairest medal: Melissa Beveridge (Dalyston)
C grade best and fairest medal: Emma Ton (Dalyston)
17-and-under best and fairest medal: Shae Kyle (Korumburra Bena)
15-and-under best and fairest medal: Natalia Dijkstra (Bunyip)
13-and-under best and fairest medal: Asha Boyd Metselaar (Inverloch-Kongwak)
Football Umpire of the Year: Brian Lansdown
Netball Umpire of the Year: Kerrie Besley
Club Championship: Cora Lynn Football Netball Club
Football Team of the Year:
B: Sam Batson (Garfield), Tyler Payroli (Nar Nar Goon), Dylan Clark (Inverloch-Kongwak)
HB: Nick Henwood (Nar Nar Goon), Brad Fisher (Dalyston), Luke Walker (Kooweerup)
C: Nathan Muratore (Kooweerup), Chris Endres (Kilcunda-Bass), Michael Marotta (Dalyston)
HF: Nathan Gillis (Cora Lynn), Ryan Gillis (Cora Lynn), Jeremy Monckton (Cora Lynn)
F: Toby Mahoney (Inverloch-Kongwak), Nathan Langley (Cora Lynn), Jason Wells (Kilcunda-Bass)
RUCK: Daniel Calteri (Kooweerup), Brendan Kimber (Phillip Island), Andrew Soumilas (Inverloch-Kongwak)
INTERCHANGE: Nick Higginson (Phillip Island), Jackson Dalton (Cora Lynn), Brent Macaffer (Kilcunda-Bass), Kyle Kirk (Dalyston), Corey Casey (Inverloch-Kongwak), Joel Gibson (Bunyip)
COACH: Ben Soumilas (Inverloch-Kongwak)
CAPTAIN: Brendan Kimber (Phillip Island)
Netball Team of the Year:
DEFENCE: Ebony Mumford (Bunyip), Christie Hillberg (Korumburra Bena)
MID COURT: Kasey Beattie (Phillip Island), Jacqueline Snooks (Korumburra Bena), Georgia Keysers (Nar Nar Goon)
ATTACK: Janelle Smyth (Phillip Island), Kim Hillberg (Korumburra Bena)
INTERCHANGE: Sheena Clarke (Koo Wee Rup), Gemma Dixon (Korumburra Bena), Britt Thomas (Dalyston), Rebecca Cox (Nar Nar Goon), Tess Angarane (Dalyston)
COACH: Christie Hillberg (Korumburra Bena)