IN PHOTOS: Unsung hero wins historic Gympie Devils award
RUGBY LEAGUE: Inaugural Gympie Devils women's star Lucy Vella put a bow on her outstanding season to claim the team's Best and Fairest award at the Gympie RSL over the weekend.
Vella's popularity and respect earned from the playing group showed with another gong as Player's Player during the Devils' presentation ceremony on Saturday night.
The lock-forward who crossed for seven tries from 11 games set the standard of consistency, durability and sheer will for her teammates throughout the year, steering the inaugural Devils women's side to a minor premiership capped with a heart-wrenching 16-12 grand final loss to Maroochydore.
And all that came after she missed the first four games of the season.
Coach Troy Carlson commended her on-field heroics, especially late in the season as the Devils charged toward their thrilling finish.
"She didn't start the season until after about four games, but she only took a couple to get her confidence,” Carlson said.
"She knew what she had to do and just ran through people. After every game the girls would vote for the player's player, and towards the end of the season her name was there just about every week.”
Star centre Sophia Fisher wasn't far behind, named as the women's Best Back following a league-best 21 try season and adding to an earlier nomination for a Rugby League Sunshine Coast award.
Fullback Caitlin Urwin got the nod as the team's Most Consistent player after posting 11 tries from just 10 matches, joining Fisher in scoring a RLSC nomination.
Matt Moessinger (A-grade) and Patrick Hoult (under-18) claimed the other Best and Fairest nods, while Moessinger backed up with the seniors' Player's Player award.
Rising star Ben Buggy claimed the under-18 Player's Player gong.