Padmore, Bolton crowned Saints’ best
THE versatile Braden Padmore and mid-court star Brooke Bolton have earned Heathcote FNC’s senior footy and A Grade netball fairest and best awards for the 2023 season.
Both played key roles in the Saints’ run to finals.
Played in many positions, Padmore’s class was to the fore as the Saints went 13-3 in the home-and-away series.
The Andrew Saladino-coached Saints were runner-up to Mount Pleasant in a season where there were many outstanding performers.
In the race for the senior footy champion player award it was Padmore who polled 134 votes.
He not only caught the attention of those casting votes at club level, but also umpires as he was third in this year’s Sam Cheatley Medal for league fairest and best after being joint runner-up in 2022.
A tally of 112 votes meant on-baller Liam Jacques, this year’s Sam Cheatley medallist, was runner-up for Heathcote’s award.
Most consistent was defender Connor Hamilton on 59 votes, while the coach’s award went to Ben Connelly and best in finals was Joseph Beedle.
The Leigh Mannix Memorial Award went to Lachie Freeman, who despite conceding height and weight to most opponents, was competitive in ruck duels all season.
A dual winner of the leaguewide Esther Cheatley Medal as HDNL fairest and best, Brooke Bolton was a runaway winner of the Saints’ champion player award.
The race was led by Bolton, 80 votes, and Kelsey Hayes, 30 votes.
Both were co-coaches and have been re-appointed for the 2024 campaign.
Best in finals was goalkeeper Jen Van Neutegem while the coach’s award was presented to Maeve Hogan.
In the reserves football, Alex Williamson scored 106 votes to claim the award from Mitch McLean, 59, most consistent was Joel Badger on 52 votes, and Carl Obst earned the coach’s award.
In other netball awards A Reserve best and fairest went to Jess Peck on 76 votes ahead of Kate Perry with 34, and the coach’s award was taken by Lucy Hogan.
In B Reserve Jess Lee and Kris Hooper on 41 votes split the Best and fairest award, ahead of Stephanie Gilmore with 30, and the coach’s award went to Emma Lee.
B Grade B&F was Anna Dundon on 39 to Tarlz Mabey at 35 and top coach Keira Haloho-Feast.
Across all grades most improved senior player was Nicky Walker, while life membership was awarded to Mick Ayres and Ronnie McIvor.