After a thorough deliberation process, the five nominees shortlisted to win the 2017 Anytime Fitness Rising Star Award are in.
Those shortlisted and in the running to take out the coveted award at next Monday’s Women’s Presentation Night are Charlotte Pooley (Collegians), India Tait (Old Brighton), Meg Hermann (Old Carey), Natalie MacDonald (Marcellin) and Sarah Cameron (SKOB Saints).
Although in its first year for the women, the Rising Star Award has long been an accurate prelude of future football success, with previous men’s winners including two-time Woodrow Medallist Brendan Iezzi (2007), VFL listed players James Fletcher (2015), Anthony Scott (2014), Lachie Ferguson (2012) and Nick Wynne (2009) and AFL player Dan Nicholson (2010).
You can tell us who you think will win the 2017 Anytime Fitness Rising Star Award by voting on the poll on the VAFA home page.
Charlotte Pooley (Collegians)
Nominated in Round 9, Pooley has played 12 games for the second-placed Lions and has been named in the best on seven occasions. She has been BOG twice; including, last weekend when the Lions narrowly fell to Old Camberwell in the Development Division 2 second semi-final.
What the club said: “Charlotte is a cross between Erin Phillips from Adelaide Crows and Ebony Marinoff from Adelaide Crows. Charlotte’s number one strength is hard ball gets, she has good ball skills and her on field leadership is highly valued by her teammates.”
India Tait (Old Brighton)
Tait played just seven games for the Tonners this season, but was named in the best on six occasions. She was named the Anytime Fitness Rising Star nominee for Round 7 after leading the way with two goals in her side’s Development Division 1 victory over Ormond.
What the club said: “India is a very courageous midfielder who always puts the team first. She is a multi-talented sportswoman who also is an excellent soccer player for Bayside United. Her all ’round ball skills make her a formidable opponent.”
Meg Hermann (Old Carey)
In her nine games for the Panthers this year, Hermann has appeared in the best five times and kicked nine goals. She’s twice led the charge in front of goal with bags of three and four against Ivanhoe and Oakleigh, respectively.
What the club said: “Meg is a powerful player, her strength on the field is her strong overhead mark and long kick. Always a good option for the coach is that Meg can be swung into the ruck and impact the game immediately.”
Natalie MacDonald (Marcellin)
MacDonald has been a key cog of the Sheagles’ midfield in 2017, playing 11 games and being named in the best seven times. Her recent form has been elite with five consecutive games in the best players, and she was a key component of the Big V’s victory over AFL Goldfields in July.
What the club said: “Natalie definitely has the attributes of Chris Judd and Brent Harvey, having an explosive burst of speed when she needs it, run and carry with the ball and she hates kicking a goal! Natalie is a very fast in and under player with great awareness and vision of her surrounds which she developed while she was playing representative basketball and has brought those skill to her football.”
Sarah Cameron (SKOB Saints)
Cameron has been a sharpshooter in front of goal for the grand final-bound SKOB Saints, kicking 27 goals and appearing in the best five times from her 11 games. She bagged five against the Sheagles in Round 4 and has kicked two or more goals another eight times. Starred for the Big V with three against the Goldfields.
What the club said: “Sarah played football at school in the GSV competition. Her first outside-of-school experience was last year at Glen Iris Gladiators Junior Football Club where she kicked over 70 goals for the season. Sarah was also named best and fairest for the youth girls competition in Yarra Junior Football League.”