She’s been the most dominant player in NFNL netball history, but Stacey Gannon has credited her Diamond Creek teammates after claiming the Section 1 best and fairest for the fifth time.
Gannon described the feeling as “surreal” after taking out the best and fairest for the third consecutive season in 2021, having previously won the award in 2018 and 2019, as well as back in 2010 and 2012.
The Creekers’ superstar polled 14 votes to edge out North Heidelberg 3 duo Georgia Alexander and Alexis Lieschke by two votes.
Speaking to NFNL.org.au after the best and fairest triumph, Gannon said she could not have won the award without the efforts of her teammates.
“Winning this represents how good the girls I play with are,” Gannon said.
“They bring the ball down to me, I put the goals in. That’s my job.”
Gannon watched the online awards ceremony while on a Zoom call with her teammates and said it was an exciting moment when it was revealed she had claimed the honour once again.
“I was in a Zoom with the club,” Gannon said.
“We were discussing it while it was going on and then it got a bit close and I was like ‘it really could be me’.
“Then they announced my name and I was really excited and everyone cheered.”
The former NFNL representative captain was a dominant force once again in 2021.
She scored 260 goals to help Diamond Creek 1 to the Section 1 minor premiership, before the Covid-enforced cancellation denied the club a chance to shoot for an 11th-consecutive grand final win.
Gannon said she had continued to train hard during 2020, despite no competition taking place, to ensure she would hit the ground running this campaign.
“I did a lot of running in the off-season to improve my base fitness,” she said.
“I did that at the end of last year, which helped me through being fitter this year. It means on the court I can do a lot more and at a higher standard.”
Having achieved every honour possible during her playing career with Diamond Creek, Gannon said she was determined to maintain a high standard.
But she also stressed that players must also enjoy every game they play.
“I don’t put too much pressure on myself each week. I just go out there and have fun and enjoy what I’m doing,” she said.
“I think that’s what brings the best netball out, when you’re having fun and having a bit of a laugh on the court sometimes and enjoying what you’re doing.”
Like all players, Gannon was disappointed the season had to come to an abrupt end due to the Covid lockdown but she said Diamond Creek had worked hard to ensure everyone kept connected during a trying time.
“It was definitely disappointing to not be able to play the complete season again,” she said.
“I really look forward to playing on a Friday night in the NFNL. It’s the highlight of my week.”
“The club’s been really good. All the girls, we all catch up on Zoom all the time doing some sessions, sharing things that we do, social things as well,” she said.
“We’ve got a really good vibe around the club and it’s been fantastic.”
Gannon said she was extremely grateful to have been part of Diamond Creek’s record-breaking era – with the Creekers having claims to be the most dominant grassroots sports team in the country.
“I used to play football at the club and I’ve been a part of the club my whole life,” she said.
“It’s fantastic that I still get to play for them and be a part of it.”
Gannon said she was still eager to enjoy more on-court success and already has her focus set on the 2022 season.
“I’ve had a bit of a break, but now I’m back to training again.
“I’m starting to do stuff now and build again and then hit the court again for next year ready to go.”