History created with joint ANL Player of the Year winners

ANL2014_MVP_InstagramWestern Sting captain Ashleigh Brazill and Netball NSW Waratahs shooter Kristina Brice have created history by sharing the 2014 Australian Netball League Player of the Year award.

The pair tied on 30 votes, finishing 11 votes clear of their nearest rival, Brazill’s Sting teammate Kate Beveridge.

It’s the first time in seven seasons of the ANL that there’s been joint winners of the coveted Player of the Year award.

Brazil also becomes the first Western Sting player to claim the MVP award while Brice is the third Waratahs player, joining Amorette Wild (2010) and Kristy Guthrie (2012), to win the title since the competition began in 2008.

_MCA5845LIBrice enjoyed a career-best year, highlighted by breaking the record for the most goals scored in an ANL season by an individual.

Her total of 468, scored at an average of 42.5 goals a match, overtook the previous mark of 461 set in 2013 by Mwai Kumwenda. Brice shot 420 goals in the regular season before adding 48 to that tally in the weekend’s Finals action.

Despite her numbers, the 20-year-old 196cm shooter said she was surprised to win the award.

“It is a bit of a surprise. I didn’t expect it,” Brice said.

“I went out this season thinking I’d have a good ANL season and hopefully get picked up somewhere (by an ANZ Championship) team and this is just tip of the iceberg I suppose.”

Brazill was one of the key playmakers behind the Sting’s return to Finals action for the first time since 2012 and their third-placed finish.

_MCA5672LiThe former Australian Diamonds squad member will also be a key part of the Australian Fast5 Flyers campaign at November’s Fast5 Netball World Series in New Zealand.

After an injury-interrupted season with West Coast Fever in the ANZ Championship, Brazill said she’s enjoyed the opportunity to play with some of Western Australia’s bright young talent.

“I’m very excited to come back after injury and come into a team of great young players,” Brazill said.

“This (award) isn’t just a credit to me but to our whole team. I’ve loved every minute of the ANL and I think it’s a great stepping stone for players going onto ANZ Championship.”

Ashleigh Brazill Western Sting 30
Kristina Brice Netball NSW Waratahs 30
Kate Beveridge Western Sting 19
Gretel Tippett QLD Fusion 18
Dannielle Carstens Tassie Spirit 17
Kelsey Browne Victorian Fury 16
Jo Weston Victorian Fury 16