By Nick Creely
Narre Warren star Trent Cody has capped off a sublime season in style, clinching the Shane Smith Medal for Premier Division League Best and Fairest.
The Magpies midfielder/half-forward – who was named skipper of the Premier Division Team of the Year – was a class act in 2021, averaging 22 disposals and two goals per match this season, combining sheer power through the middle and a strong goal sense to dominate the competition.
Cody was also ranked third for inside 50s, third for score involvements and fifth for Premier Data Points to finish with 14 votes.
Midfield star Nick Battle finished second in the count with 12 votes, Cranbourne legend Marc Holt and teammate Nick Russ finished equal third with nine votes, and Pakenham duo Jafar Ocaa and Liam Tyrrell also polled strongly with eight votes.
Narre Warren’s Mitch Cowan was also recognised for an outstanding season in to take out the Premier Division Reserves League Best and Fairest.
Cowan just shaded teammate Joel Paredes and Cranbourne ruckman Michael Boland by four votes.
In Division 1, Officer midfielder Anthony Bernardo and Seville forward Nathan O’Keefe clinched the Harold Ramage Medal for League Best and Fairest with 11 votes.
The first-year Kangaroo was the dominant midfielder of the competition in 2021, ranking number one in the competition for disposals, second for clearances and third for contested disposals.
O’Keefe – the champion goal kicker – was a class act for the Blues this season and also named as Team of the Year captain, averaging 23.5 disposals per match and almost three goals a match.
Bernardo and O’Keefe just pipped Kangaroo ruckman Dylan Chapman and Gembrook Cockatoo’s Josh Tilly, who finished with 10 votes.
Seville’s Ben Conder took out the Len Strattford Medal as Division 1 Reserves League Best and Fairest.
Upwey Tecoma star Kiana Oates took out the Division 1 Women’s League Best and Fairest, just shading Beaconsfield’s Lauren Hojnacki.
Officer’s Tali Verhoeven held off Yarra Junction’s Jade Mewburn to take out the Division 2 Women’s League Best and Fairest.Tara Cecil has clinched the top netball award for 2021, with the Cranbourne star taking out the Jodie Chandler Medal for Premier A Grade League Best and Fairest.
Cecil finished three votes clear of Beaconsfield’s Ashleigh Gill and four votes adrift of Narre Warren’s Brittany Mashado.
In Division 1, Gembrook Cockatoo star Paige Laner took out the League Best and Fairest after an outstanding season, sharing the award with ROC’s Samantha Neil.
The pair finished on 11 votes, just clear of Mount Evelyn’s Gabi Bingley and Emerald’s Kaylah Loulanting.
In the remaining netball League Best and Fairest awards, Beaconsfield’s Jordan Lang took out Premier Division B Grade, sharing the award with Olinda’s Dana Millwood, Narre Warren’s Summah Hinchcliffe took out C Grade, with Berwick’s Shayla Wood winning the D Grade Best and Fairest alongside Narre Warren’s Sarah Fabbri.
In Division 1, ROC’s Amy Jones clinched the B Grade title, ROC also saw Bec Johnson win the C Grade Best and Fairest, while Emerald’s Tayler Kennedy won the D Grade award alongside Jessica Hoskin from Mount Evelyn.