Fashioning a rare double during the season, Netball Central teams left a memorable imprint which has been reflected in a sweep of the major accolades at the 2022 New Zealand Netball Awards.
Spearheaded by Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse title-winning co-captain Kelly Jury, the long-limbed defender capped a stellar season when named joint winner of the Dame Lois Muir Supreme Award alongside Mystics shooting sensation Grace Nweke. The Supreme Award acknowledges the best netballer/s across all competitions and campaigns.
Jury also picked up the 2022 ANZ Premiership Player of the Year award and the ANZ Premiership Player’s Player of the Year.
Back in the Pulse fold, Yvette McCausland-Durie scooped the ANZ Premiership Coach of the Year award while sister team Manawa also shone brightly with livewire midcourter Ainsleyana Puleiata and Anna Andrews-Tasola recognised as the 2022 National Netball League (NNL) Player and Coach of the Year, respectively.
Jury, 26, the 1.92m last line of defence, was a commanding presence throughout the Pulse’s campaign. Consistency in all facets and telling ball-winning ability made her an influential figure across the season.
``I am very honoured to share this award with Grace and it’s not a bad day when you get your name on a trophy underneath the likes of Laura Langman,’’ Jury said of receiving the top gong.
``It’s been such a big year both with the ANZ and Silver Ferns and now’s the first time I’ve actually been able to sit back and reflect. You don’t play to receive these types of accolades and never would I have thought that I’d be receiving one.
``It’s really special to top the year off with this. Obviously, I have had the Pulse right there beside me all the way and I’m very happy to accept these awards on their behalf as well.
``It was an extremely special group that we had and that includes players, the management group and coaching staff and having Yvette (McCausland-Durie) back in the mix this year. She was a huge influence on our success this year.’’
After a year away, popular mentor McCausland-Durie made a stylish return, showcasing her own impressive skillset to guide the youngest contracted team to a record third title. She won the same award in 2019 when the Pulse won a historic first title.
``It’s always nice to be acknowledged,’’ McCausland-Durie said. ``You’re one person who gets awarded but it’s a reflection of the number of good people we have in our space that help make things happen.
``I really enjoyed coaching this team. It was a big learning for us in 2022 around leadership. We’d lost a lot of experience and so it was really nice to have an opportunity to see them grow as individuals off the court as much as on the court.
``No season’s ever perfect and no team’s ever perfect but what I saw from them was a really strong clarity about what their purpose was. We weren’t consistent all season, so the piece that was most enjoyable was to be able to put a consistent performance together in a final and that’s something that’s very rare.’’
Manawa also delivered a stellar season to go hand-in-hand with clinching a record fourth NNL title.
A sparkling athletic talent with a rich array of skills, Puleiata has developed a strong mental fortitude and created her own inspirational story after bouncing back from two ACL ruptures during her young career. She will be a fully-contracted player with the Pulse next season.
Elevated to the head coach role in 2020 after being the assistant for three years, Andrews-Tasola had the constant backdrop of Covid to navigate during her tenure, with the 2020 season being cancelled altogether.
After missing out on the final in 2021, for the first time since the inception of league in 2016, Andrews-Tasola got her reward when guiding this year’s Manawa team to the title. After six years with Manawa, Andrews-Tasola bows out on a high, opting to focus fully on her assistant coach’s role with the Pulse in 2023.
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