Each week a player from the SFNL Netball competition is awarded the Laser Clinics Australia Netball Player of the Day based on her outstanding match day performance. Each weekly winner also goes in the running to win the prestigious Laser Clinics Australia Gate Netball Player of the Year, which will be announced at the SFNL Awards Dinner on Friday 6th October.
COURTNEY WEISKE (Heatherton)
Heatherton were expected to make short work of Dingley in their Semi Final, having not been anywhere near defeat all season. When Dingley went in level at half time those in the black and white were not quite as settled as they thought they might be. Enter Courtney Weiske. This ultra-competitive fighter was not going to settle for what was going on, quelling numerous waves of Dingley attack while setting up counter attacks of her own and being a vital factor in getting Heatherton into the competition decider.
MIA McMILLAN (Heatherton White)
Mia McMillan had shown in 2016 the potential that suggested that playing in the top division may not be beyond her. With Heatherton White taking a Division 1 berth in 2017, Mia took to the higher standard as a nimble, athletic goal attack rather as a duck would to water, and quickly became someone that all defences needed to watch closely. In Round 15 every goal was vital, and while unfortunately White could not attain the margin that would see them playing finals, few attackers mastered the tricky winds as well as Mia did on the day.
CHLOE SINCLAIR (Dingley)
Chloe Sinclair is in her first season with Dingley’s Division 1 netball side, and has established herself as one of the key pillars in a strong and reliable defence. On a day when reading the ball in a strong wind was an extremely difficult exercise, Chloe brought down numerous rebounds and fed the ball accurately to her runners. With goals at a premium in their match against Heatherton White, defensive mistakes could have been the difference between victory and defeat. Thankfully for Dingley, such mistakes were few from the best player on the court.
ZALI MIFSUD (Heathterton Black)
In the big matches against the top teams, it is the players with not only the game to succeed but the confidence to use the tools in their armoury that shine. Zali Mifsud has not only the skill but the knowledge and the elite running ability to be one of the very finest players that the SFNL has to offer. In the table-topping clash with Dingley she took control of the middle of the court early, and as the game wore on she provided ample opportunities for her shooters to create a winning score. Best on court in the season’s biggest game thus far.
BROOKE HISCOCK (Bentleigh)
The best centres can pick opponents apart with their incisive passing, and always put pressure on their foes with hard running. Bentleigh’s first win of the season was as unexpected as it was long-awaited, and it was Brooke Hiscock that controlled the pace of the match against St Kilda City. Her passing range brought her fellow mid-courters into the match and also fed opportunities to her shooters as Bentleigh beat City by 41-32.
GEMMA PROY (Heatherton White)
In a tight match with fourth place on the line, the game between Heatherton White and St Kilda City was always more likely to be won by the side that won ascendancy in the middle of the court. With Heatherton’s shooters in peak form, Gemma Proy never stopped working from the first siren to the last to provide opportunities for her team. Her outstanding running and creative passes gave St Kilda City no end of headaches, and contributed greatly to a narrow three-goal win that could prove the difference between playing finals and not.
GRACE HEALEY (St Pauls)
It is often said that the difference between the good players and the great, is that the great players bounce back from adversity that the good players cannot. Grace Healey hit the concrete with an almighty thud in the second quarter of her game against Bentleigh, but she emerged after half time with a renewed determination to pilot her side to victory. This she did with a masterful shooting performance as St Pauls racked up 61 goals in a stirring display.
SARAH JACKSON (St Kilda City)
In a game that St Kilda City needed to win to keep in touch with the top four, it was a strong defensive effort that allowed them to prevail. In this it was Sarah Jackson that led the way and allowed them to prevail by 48-38. Although faced with opponents that were a good deal taller than her, Sarah pulled down countless rebounds and put telling pressure over the shot, which formed the main difference between the teams on the day.
MAKAYLA BULTE (Caulfeld)
In a historic win by the Caulfield side, there was one player that stood up, not only during the comeback from an early deficit, but also while things weren’t going quite so well early in the match. Makayla Bulte is a netballer that will give everything she has to the cause, week in, week out, and so it was this week, responsible for several strong intercepts and also being creative with ball in hand. The turnaround in fortunes for Caulfield came in the middle of the court. Makayla Bulte excelled here.
SHAE WONNACOTT (Dingley)
Dingley v Heatherton White is a contender for match of the season – a game that had everything. Shae Wonnacott is a player that’s seen multiple grand finals and has been a mainstay in the great Dingley sides of the SFNL era, and her experience came to the fore when it mattered most. In a game of momentum swings, many lead changes and peak pressure, it was coolness under pressure that got the points for Dingley, and Shae delivered when her team needed her.
MIKAELA HAYES (St Pauls)
Mikaela Hayes has been a consistent player in the St Pauls side for quite some time. The side came into their Division 1 clash against Bentleigh knowing that this was a battle containing the prize of their first four points of the season, and after an even start Mikaela was instrumental in her side assuming control. The versatile running machine maintained her poise right to the final siren as St Pauls claimed their first win.
BRODIE AUMONT (Caulfield)
It was not enough for Brodie Aumont to be Caulfield’s best player in their Division 2 match on Thursday night. She was also best player on the court in Division 1 on Saturday. Small and feisty, quick and clever, Brodie played in the centre against Heatherton White and was in everything, running hard all day and feeding her shooters well whilst restricting the movement of her opponents. Caulfield are working hard to show that they are contenders this season, and this was a big step towards that aim. Brodie showed that there is enough depth at the Cave to mount a big challenge.
LEAH SEETO (Heatherton Black)
Especially when VNL commitments start to bite into a side’s squad, depth is needed for that side to succeed. Heatherton Black had several of their first-choice line-up unavailable in round four, and so Leah Seeto was drafted in to assist those that were left. The efficiency and skill with which she did this as a defender went a long way towards ensuring that her team were able to emerge victorious against Bentleigh. Leah was especially adept at the intercept, but also pulled down numerous rebounds in a complete performance.
TASH PETROFF (St Kilda City)
In a tight, cagey match where there were few easy possessions offered to players of either side, it was the St Kilda City defence that was the decisive factor in their victory over St Pauls. To that end, goal defence Tash Petroff was a key figure. Against a side that works best when it gets the ball to its dangerous shooters quickly, Tash took down intercept after intercept and was highly valued by coach and team-mates alike.
TARA BICKHAM (Keysborough)
Keysborough v St Pauls was a match in which the winner was the side that capitalised best on the turnovers that their mid-court players helped create. In a match that was in doubt right to the final siren it was the Keysborough shooters that held their nerve the better. Tara Bickham, their goal shooter, was responsible for numerous clutch goals, especially in the crucial final quarter, and was instrumental in their first victory of the season.
ERIN NAISMITH (Heatherton White)
No matter how skilful a side is with ball in hand, they need dogged and determined defenders to make the most of their attacking prowess. Heatherton White played St Pauls in a replay of the 2016 Division 2 Grand Final, with Heatherton knowing they needed to quell the brilliance of the St Pauls shooters if they were to win once more. Erin Naismith was clearly the best player on the court, not only stopping her opponent, but also being clinical in starting many a Heatherton attack.