Cobden coach Nadine McNamara and star midcourter Sophie Barr had to share the open division best and fairest on Sunday. But the dynamic pair was not complaining.
The Bombers’ duo finished as equal winners with 20 votes ahead of joint runner-ups Jessica O’Connor from Koroit and North Warrnambool Eagles’ Georgia Corbett.
Barr said she was more than happy to share the award with her coach and teammate.
“We are super, super excited,” she said.
“Definitely the most unexpected way I guess that you could have the award, but probably the best way that we could possibly be sharing this honour together.”
Barr, who was tipped by many as one of the strong favourites to win the best and fairest, acknowledged her strong season on the court but pulled up short of thinking she was a chance.
The Cobden assistant coach stormed home in the vote count to catch McNamara, which she said surprised her a little.
“I would probably say that I had a consistent season,” she said.
“I guess I tried to do my job each week and I thought that I had done that because we had won and we were in the grand final. So I felt as though I had done enough to at least get my team over the line or do my job and help.
“But I wasn’t so sure about actually racking up any votes. I thought I would probably stay off the leader board if I wasn’t on there at the start.”
For most of the count the votes were polled by McNamara, who although was not heavily backed like Barr, still produced a strong season leading from the front.
The playing-coach revealed she put more work into herself for the season.
“I think the last couple of seasons I have probably been focusing on the other players on the team and not so much myself,” she said.
“So one of my aims this season was to try and play well myself and lead from the front and I felt like maybe that was something that I did achieve.
“I think my preparation was just getting myself and my body right.
“As we get a little bit older and we are not 18 anymore, so making sure I am in the best fitness I can be and put out my best performances on court.”
McNamara said she believed the strength of the league helped her and her players push themselves to play at such a high level.
“I think the competition is fantastic at the moment,” she said.
“There are a lot of young and up and coming players at the moment in our team as well which we were really happy to see the girls polling wel.”
The Bombers had Amy Hammond (14), Remeny McCann (12) and Alicia Blain (11) poll strongly, highlighting a strong season.