Vitality and Future Roses scoop 2024 Netball Super League awards

Winners of the 2024 Netball Super League awards. [Credit: Ben Lumley]

The Netball Super League (NSL) Awards is an annual event used to celebrate the league’s best performers who are honoured at every Grand Final.

There are seven individual accolades given out as well as the Netball Super League All Star VII.

At Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena, the awards were presented by England Netball CEO Fran Connolly, England Netball President Joan Mills and Managing Director of the Netball Super League Claire Nelson alongside a group of NSL legends: Gloria Keech, Anita Navin, Colette Thomson, Jan Crabtree, Suzy Drane, Anna Stembridge and Mary Beardwood. You can watch the action from the Grand Final here.

Players’ Player of the Season:

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Voted for by all Netball Super League players.

Winner: Lois Pearson

With the standard of the Netball Super League increasing year on year, there’s been fierce competition for this accolade. After a standout season for Manchester Thunder, it’s Lois Pearson who deservedly receives this award after playing a pivotal role in Thunder topping the table at the end of the regular rounds and making it into the Grand Final. With five appearances in the NSL’s Team of the Week and two Experience Kissimmee Player of the Match medals in the season, Pearson has consistently stood up for Thunder in the big moments.

Pinpoint accurate, Pearson has established herself as a lynchpin in the northern side’s attacking line-up with her incredible movement in the circle making her one of the most dangerous goal attacks – who can also play wing attack, as we saw in the 2024 Grand Final. 2024 has been pivotal for Pearson, who reached the milestone of 50 NSL appearances, as well as being elevated to the full-time Vitality Roses programme for the 2024-25 season.

The 2023 winner of this award was Saracens Mavericks Vicki Oyesola.

Runners-up: Funmi Fadoju (London Pulse) and Imogen Allison (Manchester Thunder).

Young Player of the Season:

This is awarded to a player, under the age of 21 years old prior to the start of the season, who clubs believed had been the best performing throughout the season.

Winner: Izzi Phillips

There must be something in the water at London Pulse with 2024 seeing yet another Pulse athlete awarded Young Player of the Season. Izzi Phillips follows in the footsteps of 2023 winner of this accolade Berri Neil as well as Funmi Fadoju who received the award in back-to-back seasons (2022 and 2021).

Starting her debut season in 2024 at just 17 years old, Phillips’ rise in the Netball Super League has been nothing short of meteoric. After returning to play after recovering from a career-jeopardising broken leg, Phillips completed an unbeaten season as captain of Pulse’s U19s and gained a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad & Tobago before taking the leap into Pulse’s squad of 12.

Phillips’ impact from the bench in the first game of the season saw her gain her first start in the NSL in just round two. This has translated into regularly making the starting seven, including in the NSL 2024 semi-finals and third-place play off. Excelling at both WD and C this season has also seen Phillips be elevated on the international stage from the Roses Pathway into the Future Roses setup for the 2024-25 season.

Runners-up: Cerys Finn (Strathclyde Sirens), Phoebe Maslen (Team Bath), Berri Neil (London Pulse).

Gilbert Top Scorer:

Awarded by Gilbert Netball to the player with the most goals in the regular rounds.

Winner: Mary Cholhok

There are few players in the netballing world that garner as much respect and admiration as Ugandan international Mary Cholhok, who has once again been outstanding in the Netball Super League. Her shooting dominance has resulted in a third NSL title for Cholhok and being named top scorer in the league for the fourth time since her debut in 2019!

Finishing the regular round with 878 goals, Cholhok has appeared in every game for Lightning this season. She added nearly 100 more goals to her season tally in the semi-finals and Grand Final with her 2024 campaign being the most fruitful of her time in the NSL and ending with 975 scored. The queen of the lay-up, Cholhok has been instrumental as a target shooter for the championship-winning side and formidably known for her strong hold although, as her closing goal in the NSL final showed, she isn’t afraid to turn and shoot from range:

Runners-up: Sigi Burger (687 goals), Joyce Mvula (667 goals), Liv Tchine (602 goals), Proscovia Peace-Nwokocha (581 goals).

You can hear more about Mary and her motherhood journey in the #SeeUsNow series here.

Coach of the Season:

The culture Jo Trip has created at Severn Stars during her tenure as Head Coach has been central to their success and dramatic rise to the top. Trip receives the Coach of the Season Award for a second year in a row after taking the helm of the Worcester-based side who rose from the ashes of a bottom-place finish in 2022, equalling their highest-ever finish of sixth place in 2023 and hitting a historic top four finish in 2024.

The player-coach has enjoyed her own success on court, with 22 intercepts, 31 deflections, 56 gains and 21 rebounds, cementing a brilliant partnership with All Star VII standout GK Jas Brown.

Lauded for their brilliant on- and off-court culture, shooter Sigi Burger has celebrated Trip for the change she has bought to the club. Burger said: “What we’ve done in two years has been absolutely amazing and I am so proud of the girls, it is a huge credit to people such as our coaches and what [Head Coach] Jo Trip has done for our team.”

Runner-up: Karen Greig (Manchester Thunder).

You can hear more from Jo about her journey into coaching as well as work/life balance in the NSL’s #SeeUsNow series here.

Umpire of the Year:

Determined by the scores received for each umpiring performance throughout the NSL 2024 season. The umpire with the best average score at the end of the season is given the award.

Winner: Gary Burgess

In his 17th season of umpiring in the NSL, 2024 was the year that Gary Burgess celebrated taking charge of 250 NSL games in his career. Achieving the honour of Umpire of the Year, this season also sees Burgess secure this accolade for the eleventh time since the award’s inception in 2008, which Gary also won.

Gary’s advice to anyone starting out as an umpire? “Know the rules, but understand that you know the rule book is black and white but the umpiring is colourful and vibrant and you need to be empathetic.”

Read more about Gary’s journey into umpiring here.

Umpire Assessors’ Award:

This award is presented to an umpire who is voted for by the NSL umpire assessors.

Winner: Emma Parker

In just her second season umpiring at the elite domestic level, Emma Parker has won her first award in the Netball Super League. After making her debut in 2023 and umpiring two fixtures, Emma has umpired consistently well throughout the 2024 season, taking charge of eight matches and being the reserve umpire on another eight occasions. On handing this accolade to Emma, the umpire assessors said:

“The nomination goes to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the league and to their fellow umpires. Emma has been prepared to step up as reserve at very short notice on a number of occasions and umpired consistently well throughout the season.”

The 2023 winner of this award was Rhian Edwards.

Find out more about how you can start or take the next step on your officiating journey here.

Fans’ Player of the Season:

Voted for by Netball Super League fans.

Winner: Funmi Fadoju

Superstar Funmi Fadoju has captured the imagination and admiration of fans across the world since making her debut for London Pulse in 2020. Dominant across all defensive stats in the 2024 season, Fadoju has been unstoppable.

In the regular rounds, she achieved 48 intercepts (19 more than her closest rival in this chart, Shadine Van Der Merwe), 92 gains (11 more than the next best in the league, Geva Mentor) and 159 deflections (Geva Mentor finished the season in second with 95).

Consistently outstanding, Fadoju has been named in the Netball Super League Team of the Week 13 times out of a possible 19 and never fails to have an impact for her side. In the third-place play-off, her partnership with Experience Kissimmee Player of the Match winner Hali Adio was pivotal in securing the bronze medal, with Fadoju delivering 13 deflections, 3 pickups and 5 gains which helped her side to a four-goal victory at the Resorts World Arena.

Runner-up: Sigi Burger (Severn Stars)

All Star VII:

Teams have had to pick out who they think was the best player in each position but weren’t allowed to vote for their teammates. The players in each position who received the most votes make up the All Star VII.

Winners:

GK: Jas Brown (Severn Stars) 

From training partner at Severn Stars in 2023 to full-time squad member and starting player, Jas Brown has had an incredible rise to the top in 2024. Alongside winning two Experience Kissimmee Player of the Match awards, Brown has been crucial in Severn Stars securing a historic top four position as well as earning herself a Future Roses call-up with England.

GD: Funmi Fadoju (London Pulse)

Fadoju has been formidable in her fifth season with London Pulse following a summer of success on the international stage, including a historic Netball World Cup silver medal with the Vitality Roses. Topping the table in every single defensive stat for the season, 2024 has been Fadoju’s best to date, being named in the NSL Team of the Week an unbelievable 13 times.

WD: Imogen Allison (Manchester Thunder)

With seven Team of the Week appearances and three Experience Kissimmee Player of the Match awards, Imogen Allisonhas been impressive in her first season for Manchester Thunder. She has been named in the All Star VII at WD, as well as picking up the runner-up spot for centre.

C: Nat Panagarry (Loughborough Lightning)

Continuing her fine form from the 2023 season, Nat Panagarry has captained Loughborough Lightning to back-to-back titles for the first time in the club’s history.

WA: Jess Shaw (Severn Stars)

With an incredible 689 feeds this season, Jess Shaw tops the stats table and takes home the WA bib in the All Star VII line-up. She has appeared in the NSL Team of the Week a huge seven times.

GA: Lois Pearson (Manchester Thunder)

Players’ Player of the Season Lois Pearson has also picked up the All Star VII GA award. With 344 goals, 245 feeds, 395 centre pass receives, five Team of the Week mentions and two Experience Kissimmee Player of the Match awards, the numbers do all the talking.

GS: Mary Cholhok (Loughborough Lightning)

Alongside her Gilbert Top Scorer Award, Mary Cholhok picks up the GS position in the All Star VII, winning this award for the second consecutive season.

All Star VII runners-up:

GK: Josie Huckle (Manchester Thunder), Geva Mentor (Leeds Rhinos), Leah Middleton (Cardiff Dragons), Razia Quashie (Saracens Mavericks)

GD: Jodie Gibson (Saracens Mavericks), Tash Pavelin (Team Bath)

WD: Beth Cobden (Loughborough Lightning), Niamh Cooper (Severn Stars)

C: Imogen Allison (Manchester Thunder)

WA: Nat Metcalf (Manchester Thunder)

GA: Sophie Kelly (Team Bath), Paige Reed (Manchester Thunder), Sammy Ngubane (Strathclyde Sirens)

GS: Joyce Mvula (Leeds Rhinos)

 

Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up on your achievements over the season!

To keep up with the latest Netball Super League news, make sure to follow the @NetballSL on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, Netball Super League on Facebook and LinkedIn, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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