The Benalla Hockey Club celebrated a successful 2019 season at its Presentation Night on Saturday, held at Ella Goose.
A culmination of a fantastic year of hockey, with the Men’s team being runners-up to the GVHA B Men’s Premiership, and more than 25 children involved in Hook In2 Hockey.
This year's highlights included fielding two junior teams for the first time in decades, including seven players in their first year of hockey.
The Under-10s finished top of the ladder, being undefeated in the first 10 rounds. The Under-12s also had a stellar year, with great teamwork in their half-field competition.
Benalla juniors also played in composite teams, including Strikers, the Under-14 premiers, and SYC Under-14 and Under-16 teams.
President Latham Carroll thanked the Club’s volunteer committee, coaches and managers, and all the parents, helpers and sponsors.
Stick 2 Hockey awards were presented to Hadassah Adams and Emily Milner by coach Lee Manning.
Senior awards were presented by manager Mel Gillies and coach Marty Gillies:
Best and Fairest - Prue White and Evan Dowe
Most Improved Player - Robyn Farley and Thomas Hill
Encouragement Award - Sarah Farley andSean Trevaskis
Robyn Birch Coach’s Award - Lee Manning
Rupe Cheetham Coach’s Award - Alan Sutherland
The Ken Dahlenberg Best First Year Player was awarded to Gaye Watson, who was a huge asset in defence in her first year playing.
The John Nicholls Memorial Family Award went to the Gillies family, who are dedicated to providing kids with the opportunity to play hockey.
Three perpetual awards were voted for by players, and presented by life members Don Berry and Mark Welsh:
Annie Fraser Best Sportswoman went to Willow Plex for her great teamwork, encouragement and work on the committee.
Don Berry Best Sportsman went to Charlie Grimwade for his encouragement and assistance on and off the field.
David Berry Memorial Best Club-person went to Lee Manning for her work coaching juniors, publicity, grants, the “New synthetic field for Benalla” project, and playing.
Junior awards were announced by team manager Mel Gillies, and presented by coach Marty Gillies and Tim from trophy sponsor McDonalds Benalla:
Most Valuable Player - Zander Gillies
Best Team Player - Oliver Gillies
Most Improved - Jai Nolen
Coaches Award - Jack Chittick
Rock Solid Defense - Noah Gillies
Most Consistent - Angus Woodward
Most Determined - Xavier Watson
Encouragement Award - Bella Hately
Confidence Award - Lily Stewart
Best and Fairest - Olly Gillies
Diane Martell Coach’s Award - Seth Hately
Most Improved Player - Xavier Watson
Most Consistent - Amber Armstrong
Encouragement Award - Madeline Watson
Certificate - Ben and Zac Fennell, Noah Gillies, Warick Jury, Angus and Jacinta Woodward.
Junior perpetual trophies were presented by the 2018 recipients Olly Gillies, Willow Plex and Thomas Hill:
Junior First Year Player - Zander Gillies
Junior Club Person Award - Charlie Grimwade
Bernice O’Brien U18 Player of the Year - Evan Dowe
The Junior Club-person was awarded to Charlie Grimwade, for assisting with coaching and mentoring all the juniors, playing in junior and senior sides and for always helping out.
Latham Carroll thanked Benalla Hockey Club’s sponsors Ultimate Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Cellarbrations, Delatite Steel, the Royal Hotel, Landmark, Bridgestone Benalla, McDonalds Benalla, Hollywood Café, Burke Signs, Linqage International consultants and also the Benalla Ensign for their great coverage of hockey this year.
Club members and families enjoyed a great night of celebrations, and are looking forward to a fun summer hockey competition and the Benalla Festival Parade in Term 4.
* All photos by Lee Manning