HAMPDEN 15 and under netballer Madeline Casey says the knowledge she’s soaked up from high-quality mentors is a key reason behind her individual success.
The Hamilton Kangaroos centre polled 32 votes to win the league honour on Wednesday night.
Warrnambool’s Jessica Thwaites, who played open grade games for the Blues, was runner-up with 28 votes.
South Warrnambool’s Inika Tobin-Salzman, who gathered 26 votes, rounded out the top three.
Casey, 15, said the skills she picked up playing and training with representative squads helped her make an impact at the Kangaroos.
“To me this is a really big deal,” she said of her award.
“I have had a good season, playing interleague under Stacey O’Sullivan and I recently got into the Western Region team.
“I have learned so much from all of these different coaches and that’s a big reason I have won this award tonight.”
Casey, who goes to Hamilton’s Monivae College, said she wanted to play at the highest level she could.
“At first I started out for a bit of fun and as I’ve gotten older it’s getting more competitive and I am actually (hoping for) a lot more out of netball,” she said.
“It’s a path I’d like to take if I could keep going.”
Casey started her 2017 season in goal attack before moving into centre and playing a key role in helping the Kangaroos to a first semi-final appearance.
“I try very hard with my defence and usually get a few intercepts during the game and I think that’s one of the reasons we did do so well this year as a team,” she said.
Casey was one of two Kangaroos to win a league top honour, with 17 and under netballer Emily Pertzel sharing the Rebekah Moroney Medal with Terang Mortlake’s Libby Moloney.
Another Blood, promising goal defence May Suhan, took out the 13 and under best and fairest.
Suhan collected 40 votes to win from South Warrnambool’s Catie Ragg, who polled 34.
North Warrnambool Eagles’ Tahni Porter was one vote further back in third spot.
Suhan said she stepped up in her second year in the Hampden league competition and was hoping to cap it off with a Terang Mortlake premiership in two weeks’ time.
“I was pretty surprised. Last year we didn’t really do that well but it’s getting better,” she said.
Portland footballer James Roberts claimed the under 18.5 goal kicking award with 58 majors.
The Judd Cup – the top under 18.5 football award – went to Cobden’s Lachlan Davis.