The Bull Sharks Ruby netball squad wrapped up their 2022 season by recognising players at a presentation ceremony at the University’s High Performance Training Centre.
Allanah Penny was awarded Bull Shark of the Year for guiding the young side over a ‘challenging but rewarding season’ in which the club won four games.
Penny flew up from Victoria for the day to trial for her spot in the team, before rushing back home for her own engagement party, demonstrating the commitment she became known for.
“She was our captain and she was fabulous for all of our young players,” said coach Kim Boland.
“The award was about leadership on and off the court. It was around embodying the Bull Sharks spirit and club values.”
The average age for the Bull Sharks team was 17 compared to 24 for the rest of the league.
17-year-old Lily Phillips was named Most Valuable Player for her impressive haul of intercepts, tips and pick-ups. She collected four Players’ Player nods over the season.
The Southport State High School student has now been selected in Bond’s Under 18s team for State Titles in Brisbane in September. The best players from across all squads competing will be selected in the Queensland side for the National Netball Championships.
Joining her in the competition is fellow 17-year-old Lily Peters who attends Varsity State High School.
As a training partner, Peters was only required to attend half of all training sessions, strength and conditioning drills and games, but she had a 100 per cent commitment rate.
“She came to every round, she did either match statistics or helped with social media. And for our two home games she actually volunteered to wear our Bondy the Bull Shark mascot suit,” said Boland.
Boland said although the University finished eight out of the 10 teams in the competition, their position on the ladder did not reflect on their performances.
“Each week you could see that they took what we did the week before and built on it, we finished the back end of the season really well.
“It wasn’t like we were getting flogged week in week out. I think there were six games where we lost by two or three points.”
Their 2023 pre-season isn’t expected to begin until January, however players have been invited to start training as early as next week, alongside players heading to State Titles.
“We know what to expect now, we’ve already spoken with Glen Corcoran at the High Performance Training Centre and physically we need to get stronger, which was the biggest takeaway from this season,” Boland said.