Liz Ellis Diamond Winners: 2010, Natalie von Bertouch

Former Adelaide Thunderbirds and Australian Diamonds captain Natalie von Bertouch still feels honoured to be among the select group of players to have won the Liz Ellis Diamond.NetB_474L

Von Bertouch was “very shocked” when her name was announced as the Liz Ellis Diamond winner in 2010, even though she had a consistent year in both the ANZ Championship and with the Diamonds’ international campaign.

The South Australian midcourter is appreciative that her name is held in the same esteem as those to have won the award before and since.

“To achieve the award was a huge honour and to be put alongside the previous winners Julie and Mo’onia who I respected so highly was a very proud moment for me,” von Bertouch said.

“After the shock had settled I remember feeling very excited, proud and honoured to be given such a prestigious award.”

Von Bertouch had an outstanding 2010 season, the Diamonds vice-captain and Adelaide Thunderbirds captain leading through her determination and tenacity and versatile attacking and defensive skills.

She was also awarded the ANZ Championship Australian Player of the Year Award for her outstanding mid-court displays and inspiring leadership efforts that steered the Adelaide Thunderbirds to their historic premiership.

Australia Diamonds v Jamaica Sunshine GirlsInternationally, she was part of the Australian team that was narrowly beaten for gold at the Delhi Commonwealth Games by New Zealand.

“To win the (Diamond) when we had just won the ANZ Championship was the cherry on the top,” von Bertouch said of her 2010 campaign.

After winning the Liz Ellis Diamond, von Bertouch succeeded Sharelle McMahon as captain of the Diamonds and led them to victory at the 2011 world championships.

She also captained the Thunderbirds to their second ANZ Championship premiership in 2013 before announcing her retirement. She finished with 76 Test caps.

“Playing netball is a team sport so the premierships and world championships wins are my career highlights with the Liz Ellis Diamond award being next in line,” von Bertouch said.

“(The Diamond) is the highest individual award in a team sport so it is a privilege to have won the award and to be put in the class of netballers who have won the award before and after me.”