Cookey & Garland win end of season plaudits
Pamela Cookey and Jess Garland followed up TeamBath’s fourth Co-operative Superleague victory by collecting two of the top awards at the end of season Netball Superleague Awards.
TeamBath made it four Superleague crowns from five campaigns with an impressive 51-44 victory over Hertfordshire Mavericks in Saturday’s grand final in Nottingham, which was televised live on Sky Sports for the first time.
The team returned to Bath with the Superleague trophy and winners’ medals, while Stacey Francis also collected the player of the final trophy.
There were further plaudits for TeamBath at the Netball Superleague Awards ceremony, which took place after the final.
TeamBath captain Pamela Cookey received the Superleague player of the season award for the third successive season. The award has only been presented for the last three seasons and the University of Bath Business Administration graduate remains the only winner of the coveted crown.
She said: “I was really pleased to win the player of the year award. It was great to see that my efforts this season were recognised by others.”
Garland, who together with assistant coach Anna Mayes has now steered TeamBath to back-to-back Superleague titles, was named winner of the coach of the year award.
She said winning the Superleague this season was an impressive team performance, with some younger members of the squad stepping up following the departure of several senior England players ahead of the start of the season.
Garland said: “It was a fantastic team performance on Saturday. Both teams were prepared to grind out a win. We were asked some difficult questions in the first quarter, but we responded straight away. That was particularly impressive for a relatively inexperienced team.
“We had a never give up attitude. At no point did the team feel panic or anxiety, despite the scoreline,” she added. “Once we got our momentum going, I couldn’t see how Mavericks were going to come back.”
Cookey also featured on the shortlist for the players’ player of the year award, alongside 18-year-old shooter Rosie Allison, who also on the rookie of the year shortlist.
The University of Bath has one of the leading university sports departments in the UK. Under its TeamBath brand, its success is based on the expertise and dedication of staff, and its excellent facilities, used by the community and Olympic medal winners alike.