NEW Zealand will forever be home to Anna Archie, but Nirranda has stolen her heart.
The dairy farmer, who coached the Blues in 2013 before returning to her homeland for five years, capped a stellar return to the south west by claiming the Wilma Wallace Medal on Monday night.
Archie clinched a breakaway 27 votes, eight more than Old Collegians centre Rachel Alderson.
Archie, who grew up playing rugby union before "the boys got too big", said Nirranda felt like a second home and had inspired her best netball.
"I feel like I've slotted back in from five years ago," she told The Standard.
"Everyone is so accommodating. I'm a true believer that if you have a true interest in sport or a club or something you'll find your feet straight away.
"Walking back to Nirranda and the Port Campbell Surf Lifesaving Club has just been like coming home.
"I hate saying it like that because New Zealand will always be home, but it's like my second home.
"You feel adopted by multiple people. It's nice, they always make sure you're all right."
Archie, a midcourter, admitted she was "shocked" to clinch the award.
"It was overwhelming - there was a bit of panic because I had to get up and do a speech," she laughed.
"I struggle going into the club rooms on a Thursday night to read the B grade team out. There was definitely a bit of panic.
"I didn't have it until round 16. The girls started jostling me and saying 'you've got this'."
The Nullawarre resident praised the rising quality of the Warrnambool and District league.
New Zealand will always be home, but (Nirranda) is like my second home.Anna Archie
"I'm really impressed with how it's growing and how far it has come," she said.
"It's neat going into each and every week and needing to be prepared."
Allansford's Kerry Christoforou claimed her second B grade best and fairest, edging out Merrivale's Tiffany Gill by one vote.
Christoforou, who won the same award in 2012, said this season had been her most enjoyable.
Christoforou's Cats are gearing up for a grand final after triumphing in Saturday's second semi final.
"It's good, but our team has just done so well," she said after receiving the trophy.
"We have such a tight knit group this year. I've never played in a senior grand final.
"We won by two goals in the second semi final but we played a bad game - so we have heaps to work with which is good for us."
Russells Creek teammates Samantha Wormald and Paige Bell drew for third place, grabbing 19 votes apiece.
Two netballers tied to their clubs through family contested the netball MVP award.
Timboon Demons centre Mellissa McKenzie, who returned to the court in 2018 after time in Melbourne, was crowned MVP with 32 votes.
She was one vote ahead of Merrivale's Cloe Pulling.
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