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Jade Clarke wins award.

The conclusion of the Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) season usually means awards seasons for our eleven VNSL outfits and this year was no different.

Both virtual and physical end-of-season awards nights took place across the country as the teams looked to honour those who played a part in their successes during the 2021 campaign.

Following the #VNSLAwards last month, here is how each team divvied out their prizes:

Celtic Dragons:

Celtic Dragons awarded their top performing players at their End of Season Social at the end of June with three key accolades being distributed on the night. Firstly, defender Annie O’Rourke was had her 2021 campaign rewarded with the True Spirit award.

Amy Clinton proved to be one of the VNSL’s most reliable goal shooters and ended the season with an impressive 424 goals for the Welsh side. Her teammates voted her their Players’ Player of the Season.

The Coaches’ Player of the Season award, meanwhile, was shared between captain Clare Jones and Amy Clinton. The pair contributed heavily to Dragons’ best performances with Jones gaining a number of plaudits for her defensives skills and work-rate, winning Player of the Match in her sides only win of 2021.

Leeds Rhinos:

Leeds Rhinos Netball held their first-ever Player Awards Evening at Emerald Headingley Stadium earlier this month and celebrated a host of players, coaches, volunteers and more.

Star shooter Donnell Wallam was handed the Sky Sports Fans’ Player of the Season by the VNSL last month and also won the same prize by the Rhinos supporters. The Australian scored 483 goals in just 13 appearances in her debut Superleague season and scored some of the division’s most memorable goals.

Sienna Rushton stepped up on numerous occasions in that goal shooter role in 2021 and scored 266 goals in 20 games. The England youngster picked up the Rising Star award due to her performances.

Brie Grierson had a tremendous first season for Rhinos – being selected by Jess Thirlby as a result – and the wing attack also won the Maggie Birkinshaw Club Champion Trophy on the night.

Lastly, co-captain Jade Clarke secured the Players’ Player of the Season award thanks to votes from her fellow teammates. England’s most-capped player helped guide her side to a top four finish in their first season.

London Pulse:

London Pulse hosted their End Of Season Awards at The Stratford Hotel in London, rewarding their players who stood out for them during the 2021 season.

New signing Lefebre Rademan made her debut VNSL season in 2021 and scored 151 goals for Pulse from goal attack, showing why she has shone so brightly for South Africa against England in the past. After a member vote, she picked up Members’ Player of the Season.

Funmi Fadoju, meanwhile, had already been handed Young Player of the Season at the #VNSLAwards in June and was given two new trophies after an exceptional season.

The youngster finished in the VNSL’s top five for intercepts with 38 and first for deflections with 84. As a result, she was given Coaches’ Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season on the night.

Loughborough Lightning:

Champions Loughborough Lightning celebrated their annual Lightning Awards in the days following their first-ever Grand Final success.

Firstly, Lucy Parize won the Karen Atkinson Award – named after their former Head Coach – after the youngster scored 30 goals for Lightning this season.

Suzie Liverseidge, meanwhile, had a breakthrough season as the youngster often started at goal attack for the champions throughout the campaign. Even rotating with Ella Clark, she still managed 121 goals in 2021 and contributed with assists also. She won the Most Improved Player award on the night.


Beth Cobden enjoyed a stellar end to her first full season back in the VNSL having won the title, Vitality Player of the Season and the Grand Final’s Vitality Player of the Match in under a week. The accolades kept coming for the Vitality Roses, winning the Olivia Murphy Award with Lightning.

Lastly, captain Natalie Panagarry lifted the trophy at the Copper Box Arena and her performances throughout the season were recognised by her teammates. Her first-ever VNSL title was followed by Players’ Player of the Season at the Lightning Awards.

Manchester Thunder:

Manchester Thunder unveiled their winners early in July at their End of Season Awards 2021. First up, Elia McCormick made her VNSL debut in 2021 and went onto make a handful of appearances for Thunder this season. She took home to Most Improved Player Award.

Vitality Rose Laura Malcolm notably excelled across a number of different positions for Thunder as they made the semi-finals once again. Malcolm took home the Pat Greenwood Commitment Award due to her efforts on and off the court this year.

In fact, it was a successful night for Malcolm who also took home the Players’ Player of the Season and Coaches’ Player of the Season. The England international had previously been named in the VNSL’s All Star VII at wing defence.

Lastly, the club’s first Members’ Player of the Season went to Eleanor Cardwell after a public vote. Cardwell scored the most goals of any goal attack in the division in 2021 with exactly 400 and showed her capabilities as a creative player, often dropping outside of the circle to provide assists for the likes of Joyce Mvula.

Saracens Mavericks:

Saracens Mavericks hosted their Franchise Awards in mid-July and handed out five individual honours to their players after their exciting 2021 season.

First up, Mavericks supporters came out in force to vote for their Fans’ Player of the Season. Vitality Rose Gabby Marshall took the prize after a number of high-class performances in which she showed her leadership and skill level against some of the division’s top sides.

The 25-year-old made it a clean sweep at the event as she also won the Coaches’ Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season. She shared the latter with her countrywoman Jodie Gibson who made her debut for Mavericks this season, making 38 turnovers in her first full season back from injury.

Youngster Beth Ecuyer-Dale, meanwhile, won Most Improved Player and Georgia Lees won the Maggie Jackson Endeavour Award. The latter is awarded to the player who goes above and beyond both on and off the court, and truly embodies what it means to be a Maverick.

Strathclyde Sirens:

Strathclyde Sirens enjoyed their most impressive Superleague season to date and hosted their #SirensAwards on live stream last month.

The hour-long show unveiled a host of awards including Players’ Player, Fans’ Player, Coaches’ Player and Most Improved Player of the 2021 season.

The latter went to both defender Emily Nicholl and goal attack Niamh McCall. The former was nominated due to ‘improving her defensive angles, decision-making and positioning’ while McCall was a consistent threat under the post with her ‘fearless way of playing’.

Defender Taylor Cullen was recognised by her coaches to win Coaches’ Player of the Season. She said: “I’ve really tried to put a lot of hard work so I’m glad it’s been paying off.

After collecting her Players’ Player of the Year from the VNSL at the Grand Final, Towera Vinkhumbo also won the same award at Strathclyde Sirens. The defender made the most intercepts in the league with 60 and is second in the league for turnovers with 93.

Fans’ Player of the Year went to Beth Dix after hundreds of Sirens fans voted on their official app. The wing attack stole the show at times with her creative play in the attacking end. She said: “Considering it’s my first year, I couldn’t be more grateful.”

Surrey Storm:

Surrey Storm announced their winners on social media earlier this month. After finishing in the top five goals scorers against this season with 518, the now retired Karyn Bailey was unsurprisingly awarded Fans’ Player of the Year.

Alima Priest, however, took home the most prizes after a dazzling season for the young defender. Priest finished in the league’s top three for interceptions this season with 39 and was famously awarded Player of the Match against Loughborough Lightning despite being on the losing side.

Priest took home the Players’ Player of the Year and Coaches’ Player of the Year awards at Storm’s End of the Season event.

Team Bath Netball:

Team Bath Netball had an exceptional 2021 and reached their first Grand Final since 2013 after finishing joint-first at the end of the regular season. They also had some of the standout performers of the season with three players making it into the Vitality Netball Superleague All Star VII.

At their own end-of-season celebrations at Castle Farm, Imogen Allison followed her fantastic performances by claiming both the Coaches’ and Fans’ Player of the Year awards. The wing defence received a quarter of the 800 votes cast by Blue & Gold supporters in a hotly-contested online poll.

Australian shooter Borger, who was runner-up to Allison in the fans’ vote, won her second successive Players’ Player of the Year with Team Bath after a season which saw her lead by example on and off the court, topping the Superleague’s most accurate shooter stats by converting an incredible 93 per cent of her attempts.

Co-captain Guthrie received the Lyn Gunson Award, named in honour of the legendary Team Bath coach and presented to someone who has gone the extra mile for the team, in recognition of how she lifted the squad after two end-of-season defeats and galvanised them to reach the Grand Final.

Wales shooter Betsy Creak took the Most Improved Player Award after impressing during her first full Superleague season.

Wasps:

Wasps announced their winners on social media in June at their annual End of Season Awards alongside their rugby counterparts. Firstly, they awarded both Phoebe Maslen and Melissa Robinson with Academy Player of the Season.

Next, Leah Goss was announced as Young Player of the Season at the end of her first campaign with the club since joining from Surrey Storm. Originally a Training Partner, mid-courter Goss replaced captain Sophia Candappa after injury and made a number of appearances for the first-team.

Iona Christian was then given the Coaches’ Player of the Season award in her first full season at Wasps. Christian won four Player of the Match awards during 2021 – only two players got more – and brought creativity to Mel Mansfield’s side.

Players’ Player of the Season was awarded to Amy Flanagan after she put in a series of strong performances gaining 48 turnovers with only Vitality Player of the Season Beth Cobden getting more from a mid-court position.

Lastly, new signing Gezelle Allison made an instant impact at goal attack and the Jamaican won Play of the Season for her stunning goal against London Pulse.

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