Teammates key to third Player-of-the-Year honor: Fowler

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BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 18: Jhaniele Fowler of the Fever catches the ball during the 2020 Super Netball Grand Final match between the Melbourne Vixens and the West Coast Fever at Nissan Arena on October 18, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Jhaniele Fowler has praised her teammates at West Coast Fever for their support after winning a third successive Suncorp Super Netball Player-of-the-Year Award.

The Sunshine Girls superstar was rewarded for another outstanding season where she scored 979 points, scored more than 50 points in 16 of her 17 matches, and registered a 94 percent accuracy.

“It is pretty hard [to maintain the same standard every year] because I come up against some pretty tough opponents,” Fowler told the Australian Netball Awards staged virtually over the last week.

“But it’s self-determination and the people that surround me that helps me to maintain my standard.”

Her efforts helped West Coast Fever finish third in the standings on 34 and qualify for the playoffs, where they beat New South Wales Swifts and Sunshine Coast Lightning en route to the final.

However, they tasted disappointment in the championship game when they were edged out 66-64 by eventual champions Melbourne Vixens.

For Fever, it was their second defeat in a final following their 2018 loss to Lightning. Still, Fowler said she believed the side possessed a championship-winning side’s hallmark despite their inability to win a title to date.

“I think we have the method to get [to the final], but honestly, it’s just to finish off,” the 31-year-old explained.

“I cannot really say exactly what [more] we need to do because we have it, we have what it takes to go all the way. It’s just for us to make sure that when that opportunity comes again, we take it with both hands.”

Fowler, who was brilliant in last October’s final shooting 54 from 55 attempts, said she valued winning a third straight award.

 “To have won the Suncorp Super Netball Player-of-the-Year award for the third consecutive year, it’s no longer the mere feeling of being elated; it’s much more,” she noted.

“I’m beyond honored and moved by this, and I’m not easily moved, pun intended, to be recognized for something I’m extremely passionate about.”

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