Fourth MVP for Aggie Dean
Aggie Dean’s getting to the stage with her chosen sport, flag football, that there’s nothing left for her to win.
The Porirua mum-of-three, a Wellington and New Zealand representative, won her fourth consecutive MVP title in the open mixed grade at nationals earlier this month. Her Wellington side, made up mostly of flag players from Porirua, took out the title after a hard-fought final against traditional rivals Counties.
Her brother-in-law, AJ Va’alepu, took out the men’s MVP for the grade, helped no doubt by a scorching length-ofthe-field try in the final.
It was Dean’s fifth trip to nationals, held this year in Orewa. A lot of fundraising had to occur for them to get there, which she puts down to the organisation of Aimee Sutorius. She says they are a team that works well together, helped by the fact many of them are related.
‘‘We went up there to win and it was an awesome team, there was good bonding. We all know each other, we’ve been together a while, it’s a real family team. A lot of people came out to support us in Auckland too. It was an awesome feeling to have all those people on the sideline when we won.’’
Although very experienced, Dean still admits surprise in receiving MVP honours. She says her talkative nature on the field might have something to do with it.
‘‘I’m the loudmouth of the team, I try to gee everyone up and keep the energy up.’’
There’s full agreement from Va’alepu, a Northern United premier rugby player, who was up at nationals for the second time. He says flag continues to grow in popularity in Porirua and is a great way to stay fit in the summer, for all levels of rugby and league players.
At nationals, after cruising through pool play, the playoff and into the final, the Wellington side were under early pressure from Counties. Their rivals took a 4-1 lead into the break but Dean and Va’alepu says there was never any panic and the 6-4 final score was a testament to their resilience.
Also at Orewa, the Wellington under-17s mixed grade took out their final, showing the next generation is stepping up.
Dean’s summer of sport has not finished yet. She’s representing Wellington in touch in Christchurch next week. Then, in March, she will pull on her country’s colours for a fivetest flag football series against Australia in Auckland.
Flagging excellence: Aggie Dean and AJ Va’alepu are among a talented pool of rugby, touch and flag players in Porirua.