NSW Swifts Captain Kimberlee Green and shooter Susan Pratley have been named in the Foxtel All-Star Team 2014, announced this morning by the ANZ Championship, making both athletes the first Swifts to be included since the award’s inception in 2011.
Green and Pratley were named centre and goal attack of the All-Stars, joined by five other athletes in the fan-voted survey to make up the team.
Swifts’ Head Coach Rob Wright paid homage to Green and Pratley, both Swifts’ foundation players who were vital in helping the Club to their first Finals Series appearance since 2011.
“It’s a great reward for their consistency across the season for both Kim and Prats. I think they have both hugely contributed to the Swifts’ results this year – not only by their individual performances, but by the way they also helped lift the players around them,” Wright said.
Wright also took the opportunity to thank the netball community for their support of his team, saying the inclusion of Green and Pratley in the All-Star Team gave him confidence fans enjoyed the Swifts’ brand of netball.
“I like the concept of the Foxtel All-Star Team and the fans have an avenue to have their say. At the end of the day sport is about winning, but also about providing entertainment and the fans are a critical part of that. So it’s great they’re given an opportunity to come up with their best seven and we are pretty happy they rate our Swifts’ players.”
Green and Pratley were named alongside Jhaniele Fowler-Reid (GS), Madi Robinson (WA), Renae Hallinan (WD), Casey Kopua (GD) and Geva Mentor (GK) with Julie Fitzgerald voted All-Star Coach.
Please see below the full announcement from the Trans-Tasman Netball League (TTNL)…
The All-Star Team, into its fourth year, recognises the most outstanding players in the respective positions and a coach over the course of a season.
For the second year running, the Foxtel ANZ Championship All-Star Team has been voted entirely by fans with thousands logging onto the ANZ Championship website (www.anz-championship.com) to submit their selections.
Five of the seven selected players retain their positions in this year’s Foxtel ANZ Championship All-Star team with NSW Swifts Susan Pratley and Kim Green the new inclusions at goal attack and centre, respectively.
Pratley and Green’s selections make them the first Swifts players to be honoured in an All-Star team since the award’s inception in 2011.
ANZ Championship General Manager Andy Crook said the final seven – and coach – are all deserving of the accolade.
“We’re thrilled by the response from our fans in selecting the 2014 Foxtel ANZ Championship All-Star Team,” Crook said.
“One of the closest ANZ Championship seasons on record is reflected in this year’s All-Star team with more players than ever before receiving votes for team of the year selection.
“Congratulations to the seven players and coach chosen in the 2014 All-Star Team coach.”
The 2014 Foxtel ANZ Championship All-Star team:
GOAL SHOOTER Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel.
Earning selection in the goal shooter position for the second consecutive year, the Jamaican star finished the regular season ranked second in the league for both goals and rebounds, converting at 93 per cent accuracy. Fowler-Reid received three #GoldenBib awards during the season. The quickest player to score 1000 career goals in the ANZ Championship.
GOAL ATTACK Susan Pratley, NSW Swifts.
Makes her Foxtel ANZ Championship All-Star Team debut, locking down the very sought-after goal attack position for 2014. Pratley was the most prolific goal attack in the league in 2014 and her combination with Caitlin Thwaites helped to lift the Swifts into their first Finals campaign since 2011.
WING ATTACK Madi Robinson, Melbourne Vixens.
The third consecutive season the Vixens’ midcourt dynamo has earned selection at wing attack in the Foxtel ANZ Championship All-Star Team. She enjoyed a stellar season, earning six #GoldenBibs during the year and was ranked second in the league for goal assists (235). Robinson has played a pivotal role in seeing her side through to Sunday’s ANZ Championship Grand Final.
CENTRE Kimberlee Green, NSW Swifts.
The Swifts captain makes her Foxtel ANZ Championship All-Star Team debut, being voted the best centre in the 2014 competition. Green was ranked the third best player in the league for goal assists (222) and was a key factor behind the Swifts successful season that saw them return to Finals action.
WING DEFENCE Renae Hallinan, Adelaide Thunderbirds.
It was a tough season for the reigning premiers, but Hallinan was a shining light in her first season as captain to earn selection at wing defence for the second consecutive year. She was ranked the third best player at the Thunderbirds for deflections (24), gains (21) and intercepts (13). Also had stints in the centre position.
GOAL DEFENCE Casey Kopua, Kia Magic.
The goal defence position has been taken by the inspirational Magic captain for the third consecutive year. Kopua won two #GoldenBibs in 2014 as she led the Magic to their seventh consecutive Finals campaign. Kopua was ranked the third best in the league for defensive rebounds (25), deflections (71), gains (64) and in the top 10 for intercepts (20).
GOAL KEEPER Geva Mentor, Melbourne Vixens.
The English international has been selected as the Foxtel ANZ Championship All-Star Team goal keeper for the third consecutive season in a year where she enhanced her reputation as one of the best defenders in the game. The top defensive rebounder (41), Mentor ranked second in deflections (79) and gains (84) in 2014. Mentor won four #GoldenBibs and became the first import to reach 100 games during the season.
COACH Julie Fitzgerald, Kia Magic
Fitzgerald made a stunning return to the ANZ Championship at the helm of the Magic in 2014. In her second coaching stint, having led the NSW Swifts between 2008 and 2011, the Australian took over the coaching duties from Noeline Taurua and led the Magic to a Preliminary Final appearance despite the pre-season doubters. It was Fitzgerald’s fourth Finals campaign in five seasons involved with the ANZ Championship.