By JARROD POTTER
BASKETBALL’S loss has been football’s gain as Keysborough footballer Jaimee Lambert validated her switch to the oval ball by winning the VWFL South East’s best and fairest.
From hoops to hooping torpedos, Lambert’s stellar season earned her joint honours with Cranbourne’s Naomi Brisbane on 32 votes.
Lambert, 20, had a dynamite year up forward for the Burras – snaring 74 goals in the home-and-away season to finish five goals behind St John’s Michelle Densley in the race for the Rohenna Young Medal.
Lambert also featured prominently in the strong Keysborough midfield, playing her role in the Burras’ 42-point grand final loss to Scoresby last Sunday.
It’s been a rapid rise for Lambert – in only her second season of football since changing over from basketball – and she didn’t think she’d claim the best and fairest.
“I didn’t think it was my best season, but it must’ve been a pretty good one to come equal first,” Lambert said.
“I thought I’d be top three – I didn’t think I’d win it – but I’m very happy to have won it and very proud of myself.
“I got 74 goals so that was one of my strong points and definitely improved from last year and it helps having a good team to play with.”
Season highlights for the forward/midfielder include kicking a dozen goals against Hallam and a best-afield performance in round 14 to knock off cross-town rivals St John’s.
Looking back on the season, Lambert was excited to play in a grand final – after losing last year in a preliminary final against St John’s.
“It’s been a good year,” Lambert said. “Better than last year- we crashed out in the finals and just missed out on the grand final.
“Great achievement to make it there (the grand final) this year.”
Lambert wanted to thank family, friends and her Keysborough football family for their help in her football development.
“I’d like to thank mum and dad for giving me my abilities,” Lambert said. “Natty Cardomone, my coach, taught me quite a bit over the last two years and my team-mates, supporters and everyone involved with Keysborough who always keep me motivated and going.”
Keysborough was also awarded the best club on the field award jointly with Darebin senior football team.