Melbourne Vixens midcourter Liz Watson has capped a season as the country’s premier midcourter by claiming Australian netball’s top award, the Liz Ellis Diamond.
In a year when the Diamonds took silver at the Commonwealth Games and claimed quad series and Constellation Cup victories, the star wing attack was also recognised as the international player of the year.
Watson has cemented herself as Australia’s first choice wing attack this year, featuring in every Test for the Diamonds in 2018.
The 24-year-old also dominated for the Vixens in Super Netball to win her second straight Sharelle McMahon Medal as the team’s best-and-fairest player.
Watson shapes as a pivotal member of the Diamonds’ team that will next year aim to defend its title at the Netball World Cup in Liverpool in July.
Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander said Watson had elevated her performances to another level this year.
“Liz’s game has reached another level with consistent performances for the Melbourne Vixens and strong performances with the Diamonds in Tests and Commonwealth Games,’’ Alexander said.
“Liz has shown her leadership and determination both on and off the court … Liz’s efforts at international level were recognised by her teammates earlier this year when she was elevated to the Diamonds’ leadership group.
“She is an athlete who is highly coachable, humble and with an unparalleled work ethic.”
Watson, who was named at wing attack in the Super Netball team of the year, was presented with her Liz Ellis Diamond at the Netball Australia awards in Melbourne on Saturday.
In other awards, West Coast Fever goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler was named the Super Netball player of the year after shooting a competition record 783 goals with an accuracy of 92.5 per cent.
Fever head coach Stacey Marinkovich was named the Joyce Brown Coach of the Year for taking the team from second bottom of the Super Netball ladder to the 2018 Grand Final.
The careers of former Australian stars Laura Geitz, Sharni Layton, Madi Robinson, Susan Pettitt and Erin Bell were also honoured after announcing their retirements earlier this year.