By Sam Watson
THE West Gippsland Football Netball Competition and the Pakenham Gazette have announced their A Grade netball team of the year, featuring plenty of local stars in the 13-player team.
The first to recognise is league best and fairest Kim Hillberg, who made history becoming the only player to feature in every West Gippsland team of the year since the league started in 2017.
No one has achieved that feat in football or netball, putting the Korumburra Bena coach in unmatched territory.
Hillberg was selected in the Goal Shooter position with her teammate Kelsey Buxton in at Centre.
Another Korumburra Bena star Gemma Dixon was selected on the interchange as a defender, making it her third time featuring in the team of the year.
Also selected for a third time was 2019 league best and fairest Renee Pilkington and 2018 league best and fairest Alana McRae.
Pilkington had another brilliant year for Inverloch Kongwak in defence earning the Goal Defence position, and McRae continued her dominant form for Dalyston securing the Goal Keeper spot.
McRae’s coach, and cousin, Jarney Thomas was selected on the bench as a Goaler, but also as the coach after leading Dalyston to a perfect 11-0 record in 2021.
Korumburra Bena had the most selections with three, and Dalyston, Bunyip and Nar Nar Goon all had two.
And the Warragul Industrials, Cora Lynn and Tooradin Dalmore earned one each.
As always there were some high-quality snubs from this year’s team, with the Pakenham Gazette stating Hannah McRae, Britt Thomas (Dalyston), Hayley Roberts (Phillip Island), Lanni Pryor (Inverloch Kongwak) and Annelise Van Rooye (Korumburra-Bena) were all very close to selection.
• WGFNC Netball Team of the Year – 2021
Coach: Jarney Thomas – Dalyston
GS: Kim Hillberg – Korumburra-Bena
GA: Lara Commadeur – Warragul Industrials
WA: Chloe Papley – Bunyip
C: Kelsey Buxton – Korumburra-Bena
WD: Rebecca Cox – Nar Nar Goon
GD: Renee Pilkington – Inverloch-Kongwak
GK: Alana McRae – Dalyston
INT: Hollie Keysers – Nar Nar Goon Goaler
INT: Jarney Thomas – Dalyston Goaler
INT: Karla Brook – Cora Lynn Mid
INT: Ebony Dolan – Tooradin-Dalmore Mid
INT: Gemma Dixon – Korumburra-Bena Defender
INT: Sam Hodge – Bunyip Defender