It was a bittersweet day for Vanessa Mullampy; defeated in the 2016 Grand Final, however awarded a phenomenal individual accolade, presented as the ANL 2016 MVP.
The award, announced during the medal presentations at the conclusion of the grand final, was a shock to Mullampy in her first year with the Waratahs.
“It was very unexpected. It’s my first year in the Waratahs, so I’m excited by the season I had,” Mullampy said.
“It was very out of the blue, but I’m so, so happy and it was amazing being part of such a great team.”
Mullampy is a long-time ANL campaigner, representing NSW’s former team, the NNSW Blues for four years and playing with the Canberra Darters in 2015.
“I’ve always wanted to be in the Waratahs so it was amazing to get picked,” Mullampy said.
Playing as a shooter since she began netball as an eight-year-old, Mullampy was ranked 16th in the competition for goals for the season, scoring 99 goals at 88 per cent.
“I’ve been a shooter my whole netball career. I’ve always loved it. It’s the pressure, it’s a pressure spot,” Mullampy said.
Over the finals weekend, Mullampy played a half of netball in the semi-final against the Southern Force and a half in the grand final against the Victorian Fury, in what was her first ANL grand final.
“It was my first grand final of ANL so I was pumped today. Coming away with the loss was disappointing but it was a bit of a cherry on top getting the award,” Mullampy said.
Over the course of the weekend, Mullampy scored 19 goals from 26 attempts and was crucial in getting her team into the grand final.
Past winners of the ANL MVP award include ANZ Championship stars Ashleigh Brazill, Mwai Kumwenda, Karyn Bailey and Kate Shimmin.
Mullampy hopes she can continue to improve her netball and advance her netball career.
“It’s always the dream when you play netball to be part of an ANZ (Championship) team and then to move on up to the (Australian) Diamonds,” Mullampy said.
“Having such a great season I can see that as a goal. I would love to be sitting on an ANZC team, but in the mean-time I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and enjoy playing netball.”
Image credit: David Callow