Romsey defender Stefanie Symes was left speechless after claiming the 2019 Riddell District Netball League Ryan Medal

Symes was the run away winner in the award, presented at the league’s annual awards night on Wednesday night.

She led by one vote after eight rounds and it was still that margin after 12 rounds.

When the vote counting started in the room in round 15, Symes led by six votes.

Symes then polled three best on ground performances, with the second one of those games sealing the medal victory with two rounds remaining.

She would finish the night on 31 votes, 12 clear of last year’s winner Chloe Wilson, Diggers Rest’s Anica Schere and Wallan’s Georgia Bowkett.

Speaking minutes after her win, Symes was still in shock.

“It’s crazy,” she said.

“I thought might be up for another team of the year, but that’s about it. I was pretty happy with that. Now I’m stoked.

“I was shocked and I didn’t expect to win by so much, there’s an amazing calibre  of athletes at Romsey.”


Romsey’s Stef Symes. Picture Shawn Smits.

With the medal won by predominately shooters in recent years, Symes didn’t think she was chance of taking it out.

She is the first defender since Lauren Close in 2014 to win the Ryan Medal.

“As a defender you don’t really expect to get much of the glory, but it’s kind of nice, very shocked,” Symes said.

“I may be thought last season was better, but I’ve got such a great bunch of girls. Honesty they make me look good on court

“It’s a great shock.”

Symes was full of praise for Romsey, especially her teammates.

Symes was also named in the team of the year in goal defence. It’s a second straight year she’s been named in the side.

Macedon defender Katie Clarke, who was named on the bench, earned her sixth team of the year spot.

Her teammate Chloe Wilson made it four years in a row, while Rupertswood’s Prue Stanley was recognsied for a third time.

Diggers Rest Anica Scherer, Macedon’s Caitlyn Alifraco and Rupertswood’s Tee Salanoa were both named for a second time.

Rupertswood duo Clare Johnson and Ailish McCormack were both named in the team for the first time in goal keeper and wing attack respectively.

Other debutantes in the team were Wallan pair, Gemma Grimmond and Chloe Meulenmeesters, who were both named on the bench.

Riddell’s Lauren Close, who has been a main stay in the team since 2014, was named coach of the year for the first time.

In other netball awards, Alifraco was named the Western Water player of the year voted by the coaches.

Riddell’s Kirby Elliott was named the rising star.