Illawarra Stingrays ready for the Illawarra Mercury IMB Soprts Star of the Year Awards


The regions elite sportsmen and women will be honoured at the Gala event at the Novotel Northbeach.
The outstanding list of 2009 nominees represent 10 sports and include World &  National Champions, plus those who have starred in Australian teams and have won State Titles.
Nominees include : Illawarra Stingrays (Football), Jay Marmont ( Motorcross), Dean Bowen (Surfing), David Smith (Canoe), Darius Boyd and Brett Morris (Rugby League), Ryan Gregson (Athletics), Petrina Price (Athletics),Casey Eastham & Airlie Ogilvie ( Hockey), Robert Hurley (Swimming) & Austinmer U 23 Boat Crew(Surf Life Saving).
Previous winners include Wayne Gardner, Brett Lee, Kerryn McCann, Darren mercer, Robert Elkington & in 2000 Wollongong Wolves.
?The Illawarra Stingrays were clearly the regions most successful womens sporting team in 2009 clinching an historic league-grand final double in the Arrive alive NSW Women?s Premier League.
The Stingrays became the first team to be promoted to and then win the Premier League Title.
In keeping with a season of amazing highlights, Club Captain Michelle Carney scored 2 goals in the 6-1 demolition of Macarthur at Balls Paddock in her 100th game for the club.
Carneys heroics earned her the first Joey Peters Medal as Player of the match.
Carney, a Stingray mainstay throughout the clubs roller coaster four years, declared the victory, one of the best moments of her glittering career.
?Its totally up there, from going down to coming straight back up and winning the premiership and grand final is just a great effort.
It?s bitter sweet because this is our first season back up so that puts the pressure on us next year to keep the standards high.?
Although Carney earned the judges nod as best on ground, she was quick to praise her team-mates.
?Michelle Heyman played unbelievably well, she was winning balls , closing down and creating opportunities, Carney said.
Sam Spackman and Trudy Camilleri were great in midfield, the defence was awesome and Sarah Gollop was was solid. Everyone was up for it. The first half we didn?t play our game but in the second half we attacked more and it was great?
At the Stingrays Presentation Night, Heyman capped a great first season in the states top flight by snaring the first grade coaches award and the golden boot award, while Carney finished Players Players.
Jess Cooper won the Infocus Triple P award for her contributions on and off the field.