The Adelaide Thunderbirds hosted their annual Awards Night on Tuesday evening at the Intercontinental Adelaide, celebrating the 2019 Suncorp Super Netball season and recognising stand-out performances from the year.
New Zealand sharpshooter Maria Folau took overall honours and was crowned 2019 Adelaide Thunderbirds Priceline Pharmacy Club Champion.
The Club Champion is awarded to the athlete that performs consistently at a high level and can lift mentally and physically to produce come back plays. They must also be an impactful athlete who leads by example and is reliable and able to play and remain calm under pressure.
Head Coach Tania Obst said that Maria has shown all the qualities of what is required to play consistently well at this level.
“Maria Folau is an exemplary winner who was regularly instrumental in the Adelaide Thunderbirds on court performance and has the ability to provide momentum shifts and significant on court experience,” said Tania
“Maria is an admired and respected member of the team who has thoroughly deserved this recognition.”
In the night’s other awards, Layla Guscoth took home the Adelaide Thunderbirds Players’ Award, Shamera Sterling scooped the Adelaide Thunderbirds Members’ Award and the Tanya Denver Award, Hannah Petty was presented the Adelaide Thunderbirds Spirit Award.
Southern Force were also recognised on the night, with Maisie Nankivell accepting the Southern Force Most Valuable Player and Players’ Award for 2019. The Southern Force compete in the Deakin University Australian Netball League which is the underpinning competition to the Suncorp Super Netball League.
Talking about the 2019 season, Head Coach Tania Obst said that overall 2019 has been a successful year for the club.
“2019 has been a successful year for the Adelaide Thunderbirds. Whilst we were disappointed to finish the season in seventh place, the over-riding goal I wanted to get out of the season was for the Adelaide Thunderbirds to be competitive again and I think we have been able to do that,” said Tania.
“It’s such a tough competition and it doesn’t wait for anyone, but I’m satisfied moving forward we have a foundation to work from next year.”
“We have recognised some truly deserving winners tonight and now we’re looking forward to season 2020 – perhaps with a short rest in between!”