FROM 7pm tonight join Adam Bourke as he blogs live from the Bendigo Football Netball League best and fairest awards at the Capital.
Who will win the Michelsen Medal and who will win the Betty Thompson Medal? Post a web comment and share your thoughts.
MICHELSEN MEDAL CHANCES:
BRODY CULPITT (Castlemaine)
First season back at Castlemaine after a couple of years interstate. The midfi elder was named in the Magpies’ best players 11 times and polled votes in seven games in the Bendigo Advertiser-ASM Player of the Year Award. Hard to win the medal from the wooden-spoon side, but it has been done before, the last being Kyneton’s John Watts in 1980. Lachlan Ford should be the Magpies’ other main vote-getter. Bendigo Advertiser-ASM Fitness votes: 15 (polled in 7 games).
JOSH BOWE (Eaglehawk)
Hasn’t had as strong a year as his past two, but the umpires clearly like the way he goes about his footy. Won the medal in 2010, and was runner-up to Wayne Schultz last year. The Hawks’ skipper finished the year in season-best form when the Hawks were at their best. Team-mate and fellow midfielder Brady Green should poll OK, too. Addy votes: 20 (5 games).
SCOTT WALSH (Gisborne)
Was well on the way to becoming one of the BFL’s top onballers last season, but has taken a massive step forward this year and is now in the A-grade category, as shown by his inter-league selection in May. Is terrier-like in his approach to his football and finished runner up in the Addy award, polling 31 votes. Twelve times he was in Gisborne’s best players. Addy votes: 31 (9 games).
TOM WATERS (Gisborne)
Has been the outstanding ruckman in the BFL for two seasons and a VCFL representative this year. Superb tap ruckman and has tremendous work-rate around the ground to will himself from contest to contest. Is already a dual winner of the Riddell league’s Bowen Medal, so he is a proven vote-getter with the umpires. Finished third in the Addy award. Addy votes: 30 (8 games).
CASEY SUMMERFIELD (Gisborne)
Yes, another Gisborne player in the mix for the Michelsen. Tough as nails, Summerfield is in his first season as Gisborne captain and has led the side brilliantly in the midfield. Was named in the Bulldogs’ best players in 11 of the 17 games he played. Addy votes: 27 (8 games).
GRANT WEEKS (Golden Square)
If Weeks doesn’t win tonight, might as well put a line through a full-forward ever winning the Michelsen again. Arguably the best player in the VCFL, Weeks has without doubt been the standout player in the competition this year, kicking 148 goals in the home and away season – the second most in BFL history. Twelve times he kicked more than seven goals in a game, including one bag of 21 against Kyneton. Has already won the Addy award in a canter with 45 votes, which includes seven best on grounds. Surely, Weeks can’t get beaten this year... can he? Addy votes: 45 (10 games).
SIMON ROSA (Golden Square)
Was the red-hot favourite going into the count last year, but was never in the hunt and finished with just 13 votes. The midfield jet started this season far from his best, but gathered momentum as the year progressed and finished with a flurry in which he polled 25 of a possible 30 votes in his last six games in the Addy award. As well as Weeks, fellow team-mate Travis Baird should poll well, but is ineligible. Addy votes: 30 (8 games).
AARON WALKLATE (Kangaroo Flat)
One of the best chances to win the medal from side that missed the finals. Not flashy through the midfield, but has been Kangaroo Flat’s most consistent player and polled votes in the Addy award in half the games he played. Has already won a league medal, having won the North Central’s Feeny Medal with Boort two years ago. Kangaroo Flat coach Tyrone Downie is another Roo who could poll well. Addy votes: 24 (8 games).
HARRISON HUNTLEY (Kyneton)
Young key position player at either end of the ground, who stepped up and played four VFL games with the Bendigo Gold. Has already won the Tigers’ best and fairest this season after being in their best players in 10 games. Addy votes: 17 (5 games).
JOEL MALONE (Maryborough)
The strong midfielder has had a brilliant season with Maryborough in his return to Princes Park as co-coach. Has won the Magpies’ best and fairest, which is no surprise considering he was in their best players 13 times, including being named their No.1 player seven times. As well as Malone, ruckman Tyson MacIlwain should also poll a few votes for the Magpies. Addy votes: 19 (8 games).
BLAIR HOLMES (Sandhurst)
His second half of the season, in particular, was as good as any onballer in the competition. The Dragons rated Holmes, who provides a strong physical presence every time he steps onto the field, in the best four players in each of their last 11 games, during which he polled 28 votes in the Addy award. Addy votes: 29 (9 games).
DANIEL ANDERSON (South Bendigo)
Was half of the season when the Bloods were up and about and at their best and he already had 21 votes in the Addy award by round eight. Loves the hard stuff, however, just like his team, the midfielder probably tapered off in the second half of the season as far as his standout games. Addy votes: 27 (8 games).
BRADY CHILDS (South Bendigo)
Another consistent season by the Bloods’ skipper, who always seems to poll well in the Michelsen. Similar to his midfield partner, Anderson, thrives on the hard stuff, which was showcased in the BFL’s inter-league win over Gippsland in May when he was one of the Blue and Golds’ standouts. Was at his best mid-season when the Bloods named him in their best in every game between rounds six and 13. Addy votes: 22 (6 games).
MATTHEW LADSON (Strathfieldsaye)
Probably fl own under the radar a bit, but there’s no doubt the Storm onballer has had exceptional season, with his form in of the year outstanding. the Storm’s last 10 games he either their first or second best while he bolted home in the Addy polling 20 votes from round to finish fourth. Addy votes: 28 (8 games).
SHANNON GEARY (Strathfieldsaye)
The Storm captain was one of standout players early in season when Strathfi eldsaye was on fire. Polled votes in the Addy award in each of the first five rounds, including two best on grounds. Great leader who does all the little things well. Addy votes: 18 (7 games).
BETTY THOMPSON MEDAL CHANCES:
Chloe Watson – Sandhurst
Last season’s CVGT Rising Star winner has had another outstanding year in defence for Sandhurst.
Tall and athletic, Watson is capable of shutting down the league’s best attackers and has drawn praise for her discipline from coach Jannaya Webb.
Watson is a hot tip to win the award by some of the BNL’s coaches but missed three matches this season, partly because of Victorian 19-and-under commitments.
Brianna Dalrymple-Monro – Sandhurst
Last year’s Betty Thompson medallist has taken the recognition of being the league’s best player in her stride in 2012.
Playing through the mid-court, Dalrymple-Monro has once again shown her class and will be a key player for Sandhurst in Saturday’s grand final.
A member of the VU Western Lightning’s VNL Championship grand final team, Dalrymple-Monro has missed three matches this season which may count against her going back-to-back as the league’s best.
Ebony Evans – Sandhurst
Part of arguably the strongest mid-court in the league, Evans’ form at wing attack or defence was instrumental to Sandhurst reaching back-to-back grand finals.
Evans’ speed, agility and defensive pressure should have her high on the umpires’ list of the BNL’s best, although she has missed three games in 2012.
Lauren Ryan – Eaglehawk
Great teams are built on defence and Lauren Ryan’s partnership with Heather Oliver has been crucial in Eaglehawk’s stellar season.
The Hawks have lost just once this year and are hot favourites in Saturday’s grand final against Sandhurst, largely due to Ryan’s ability to create turnovers for the Borough playing as goalkeeper or goal defence. Played 14 of 16 matches this year and was runner-up a year ago.
Heather Oliver – Eaglehawk
Oliver’s transition from a basketball background to her first-year playing A-grade netball is one of the great stories of 2012.
Her top form earned selection in the BNL’s representative team.
Abby Gilmore – Eaglehawk
After making the switch from Sandhurst to the Borough in 2012, Gilmore has excelled at her new home at Canterbury Park.
An accurate goalshooter, Gilmore’s ability in the front third has been integral in Eaglehawk being the most dangerous attacking team in the BNL. Gilmore played all but one game and should poll strongly.
Simone Andrews – Kangaroo Flat
Respected throughout the league for her miserly defending, Simone Andrews’ partnership with Alicia McGlashan was critical in Kangaroo Flat re-entering finals in 2012.
Andrews’ experience in defence helped make the Roos the toughest team to score against in the BNL.
Karly Bingham – Kangaroo Flat
Already a star performer for Kangaroo Flat, the way Karly Bingham helped shoulder the load after gun centre Lauren Cowling went down with a season-ending knee injury impressed many.
Usually a wing attack, Bingham also stepped into the centre to help cover the loss of Cowling and she played a key role in setting up many of the Roos’ attacking thrusts.
Played every game and should feature strongly.
Nina Cass – Kangaroo Flat
One of the most accurate goalshooters in the BNL, Cass is always a standout on the court.
The tall veteran had a consistent season in attack for the Roos and was particularly impressive during Flat’s early season run when it won eight of 10 games.
Cass played every game in 2012.
Melissa Harris – Gisborne
A consistent performer for Gisborne, Harris is invaluable to her team playing in defence.
Nominated by coach Paige Rymer-Hamilton as one of the club’s standout performers this season.
Jacqueline Dupuy – Golden Square
A shining light in a year where Golden Square couldn’t replicate its premiership heroics from 2011, Dupuy is one of the rising stars of Bendigo netball.
The Catholic College Bendigo student’s versatility makes her a prized team member at Square, as does her ability to move the ball down court.
Kate Wastell – Castlemaine
A star of the league, Wastell’s chances may be harmed by Castlemaine only winning four matches.
That won’t worry Wastell, though, with the gun mid-courter pleased to have the young Magpies outfit heading in the right direction after no wins in 2010 or 2011.