East Point wing-attack Lauren Atkinson has made it two on-the-trot after again being named best and fairest in the Ballarat Football Netball League’s A-grade competition.
Despite being injured in the latter stage of the season, a whopping 10-vote lead with three rounds remaining ensured the reigning champion had the Sally McLean Trophy sewn up well in advance of round 18.
Atkinson finished the night with 28 votes, five ahead of Lake Wendouree defender Molly Boyle and eight votes clear of Redan’s Emma Henry.
The individual accolade caps off a tremendous year for Atkinson’s side which is in the midst of preparing for a grand final clash with modern rival North Ballarat City.
After finishing atop of the BFNL A-grade ladder the Kangaroos managed to stay composed to convincingly dispose of both City and Lake Wendouree en route to the final match of the season.
As well as taking home the league’s highest individual honour, Atkinson was also named as captain in the BFNL Team of the Year.
Atkinson said the award came as a surprise given her stint on the sidelines towards the end of the season.
“I thought I started off quite well at the start of the season but sort of plateaued in the middle before having a few injuries, so I didn’t really think I had a chance.”
Atkinson was not the only Kangaroo to be recognised among the league’s strongest players.
Kate McLoed, Lauren Dew and Emma Farrell were all named alongside Atkinson in the 12-player Team of the Year.
Atkinson said the talent of the group played a major role in helping her to attain the league’s highest honour for a second year running.
“I definitely believe it’s about the strong players around you,” Atkinson said.
“When feeding into the shooters they have to be in the right position to pass the ball to, so I guess they make me look good if they’re moving in the right places.”
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