ANOTHER major milestone will be celebrated by Port Fairy's greatest netballer this Saturday.
Nicole Dwyer will line up for her 250th senior game when she takes to the court against Camperdown.
Dwyer has been the A grade coach since 2005 and has won an incredible eight club best and fairest awards, forging a reputation as one of the region's best players , and the Port Fairy club's heart and soul.
Well-known netball coach and Dwyer's mother Bev Bourke praised the enduring qualities her daughter has displayed during her sporting career.
"I think her determination and loyalty are her biggest assets, and her ability to play every week even if she is injured is unrivalled," Bourke said.
"She started her career playing out at Bessibelle with players of all ages and they were a determined lot. I think Nicole really learnt a lot from that time. She is now a great influence and teacher herself with the young players. They really listen to her and I think she has a very calming nature."
Rachel Pevitt has been a long-time teammate of Dwyer and, like many who have played with her, said Dwyer had been a source of inspiration.
"She has just been so great for Port Fairy with her leadership and the way she plays," Pevitt said.
"I'm sure there would be a lot of other clubs who would have loved to have had her over the years, but she has stayed loyal to Port Fairy and has really held the club together."
Port Fairy netball co-ordinator Mick Moroney has observed Dwyer, not only in his role as overseeing the club's netball teams, but as a parent of three daughters who have played under her.
Moroney said Dwyer was a popular and respected figure with everyone in netball circles, and especially with the young players she has brought through the ranks .
"In the past few years we have had a number of junior league best and fairest winners, and a lot of that has to do with the work Nicole has put into the young players," Moroney said.
"She is so good with the girls and she always finds a positive even when we aren't winning games."
While Dwyer's qualities are highly regarded within Port Fairy, she has also won a good deal of respect from the wider netball community.
Koroit coach Jacqui Bowman, who has often played against Dwyer, has also been a teammate on many occasions in representative teams.
Bowman said Dwyer had been a great ambassador for Port Fairy and for netball as a whole in the south-west region. "She has really kept Port Fairy going and she has installed a lot of loyalty for the club into her young players," Bowman said.
"She's a very strong, tough player and she is quick and fit, and just loves the contest.
"I think she has had to play out of position over the years. I think her best position is wing attack because she is so quick off the mark and a great feeder into the ring.
"She has been great to play representative netball with; she is always the life of the party and is one of the reasons I still look forward to playing representative netball."
As for the star herself, Dwyer said she was looking forward to Saturday and the chance to reflect on her long career.
"I'm proud and honoured to have played 250 games at the one club, I see myself as a loyal person and I think you should play for the club and town that supports you," Dwyer said.
"I am excited about Saturday and hopefully we can put up a really competitive effort against Camperdown."
The Port Fairy Football Netball club invites all supporters to come along, not only on Saturday, but tonight at the clubrooms for tea to help celebrate her 250th milestone.