WA netball champion Sally Ironmonger to be inducted into the WA Hall of Champions

Via The West Australian

Success to Sally Ironmonger as a Karridale schoolgirl was simple.

“I was about eight and remember coming home from Friday sport and Dad saying to me, ‘How did you go at school today, love?’,” she recalled.

“I’d say, ‘I caught the ball three times today, Dad’. That’s where it all began.”

Through a netball journey of hard work, Ironmonger made her way from the outdoor courts in the South West to the national team and will on Monday become only the fifth player from her sport to be inducted into the WA Hall of Champions.

She will be inducted alongside West Coast Eagles champion Dean Kemp.

The imposing defender’s career highlight came in 1987 when she was part of the Australian team that claimed the silver medal at the 1987 Netball World Cup in Glasgow.

She was also part of the inaugural Perth Orioles in the National Netball League and in 2007 was named in the club’s Magnificent 7 before the team was renamed West Coast Fever.

By the time she retired, she had amassed a body of sporting work to rival that of her high-profile brother John Ironmonger, a star footballer with East Perth in the WAFL and with Sydney and Fitzroy in the VFL.

With her Hall of Champions induction, the 50-year-old is hopeful of finally shedding the long-lasting comparison.

“Maybe, he’ll be my brother now and not I’m his sister,” she laughed. “It was quite a surprise actually and it’s taken a little while for it to sink in but it’s very exciting. It’s all a while ago now but it makes you go back and think about where it all started and how it all happened.

“It’s been a good time of reflection … it’s not something I never thought would happen.”

Kemp is regarded as one of the Eagles best players in the era that won premierships in 1992 and 1994. He won the Norm Smith Medal in the 1994 grand final and finished his career in 2001 after 243 games.

Peter Matera, the 1992 Norm Smith Medallist, is the only one of Kemp’s West Coast teammates to have been inducted.

“I’m rapt, mate, over the moon … I thought they’d forgotten about all us old blokes,” Kemp, now a hospitality wholesaler in Margaret River, said.

“When stuff like this comes up, it’s just incredible to be included with some of those people up there and it’s very humbling.

“What an awesome time we had to be a part of such a successful group. It was a pretty amazing team and quite mind-boggling really.”