Today we continue our coverage of the 2017 AFCA Coach of the Year nominee profiles, as we take a look at four of the state’s top Junior coaches in the running for the David Parkin Junior Coach of the Year Award. Mitch Wynd reports.
Four outstanding coaches are in the running for the David Parkin Junior Coach of the Year Award which will be presented at the AFL Victoria Community Football Awards dinner on Friday November 3.
The prestigious award is one of seven that will be handed out with winners also to be crowned in the NAB AFL Auskick, Youth, Female, Senior, Umpire Coach (Country & Metro) and Lifetime Achievement categories.
See below for a brief summary of the David Parkin Junior Coach of the Year Award nominees:
JOE MCCARTHY (Surrey Park Junior Football Club)
Joe took on coaching for the first time in 2017, and wasted no time in helping develop Surrey Park JFC. He established Dadkick, a father-daughter participation program during the summer months, with the help of others in the Surrey Park community. In matches, Joe would never hesitate to loan players to clubs that were short of a full team. A great season was capped off with a memorable U12 Girls’ premiership after some difficult results early in the year.
ANDREW HIPWELL (Stanhope Girgarre Rushworth Giants)
Andrew’s passion and commitment to the local community has always been strong, having received numerous community awards (‘Legendairy’ Award, Campaspe Shire Citizen of the Year Award) before trying his hand at junior coaching. He has successfully applied for funding for school goalposts and away game bus transportation. Within two years, he took Auskick participation from 0 to 35, and now the SGR Giants field 95 junior players. Andrew doesn’t just turn up and coach, he involves himself in any and all areas that he can.
GRAHAM HART (Lavington Panthers JFC)
Graham has always put participation ahead of results, implementing a regular rotation system for players to get an even amount of game time as possible. He has empowered the leaders within the team to set the standards for the rest of the team to follow. Players are asked for their opinion/input, and it is taken into account and valued. Dedicated to staying on top of his game, Graham even retook his level 1 coaching course to stay up to date on modern teaching techniques.
GERARD FEEHAN (East Malvern JFC)
Gerard has fostered an environment of respect and care within his team by welcoming special needs children into his side. Players and parents can view his messages and encouragements via his YouTube channel on Sunday nights, certainly a unique method of engagement. He keeps a tally of which players have scored goals throughout the season, and has managed to get every child to kick at least one goal over the last four years.
STAY TUNED later this week for a closer look at this year’s Stan Alves Youth Coach of the Year nominees…