Bruce to step off the court after winning sixth award
Barooga netball playing-coach Sarah Bruce has done it again, winning her sixth club best and fairest at the Hawks’ recent presentation night.
In a disappointing season results-wise, Bruce was a shining light, again delivering with consistency to lead her side.
She beat out defender Kristie Primmer who finished as runner-up, while Chloe Anthony took the coach’s award.
Bruce said the award was humbling, but something she’d be happy to part with for team success.
‘‘I’m honoured and feel very humbled that the umpires feel I fit the criteria for this award, and it was nice for another defender and long-time local of the club, Kristie Primmer, to receive the runnersup,’’ she said.
‘‘Although, as humbled as I am, I am not playing netball at this level and at this stage in my life for individual recognition.
‘‘I would happily forgo this if it meant we could play in and win a premiership. That I feel is the real holy grail of sport.’’
Bruce enjoyed coaching some talented players this season, and felt the team’s 3-15 record didn’t show how strong the side had the potential to be.
‘‘This season I set my expectations high as I felt I had a very capable and universal team,’’ she said.
‘‘Even though we only won three games for the year we were still a very competitive team.
‘‘The raw statistic of three wins does not reflect just how much we pushed some of the top sides; we probably performed better as a team against these stronger sides.’’
She added injuries had cruelled the Hawks’ chances of more success, a clear run hopefully leading to a better record in 2018.
‘‘I have no doubt with some of the names the committee has on its contact list Barooga will again be a competitive team, but this time hopefully able to capitalise on this competitiveness, turning the close losses into wins.’’
Bruce said the hard work of under-17 coach Wendy Brooks was helping the club produce a string of talents who would help the club in the coming years.
‘‘A few of them already stepped up this year and filled in for our senior grades.
‘‘I have no doubt that these couple of amazingly talented girls will step up and shine in the higher ranks of the senior netball grades at Barooga.’’
Bruce has announced she will not play next season, aiming for more family time with her husband and two children.
‘‘I have played a lot of netball over the years and it has been a real juggle since having kids, so I am looking forward to having Saturdays back for a little bit.
‘‘It is not retirement just a well-earned break,’’ she said.
Carmen O’Dwyer won the B-grade vote count from Carly Marriott, while Cath Brooks won the C-grade award from Taylah Sanderson.
Amanda Mathers took out the C-reserve award, with Sharon Nye the runner-up.
Call-up: Cobram’s Jack Brooks, pictured with his under-17 leading goal scorer trophy, has been selected in the Murray Bushrangers 2018 TAC Cup pre-season squad.