Paul Vaughan of the Gippsland Umpires Association and Scott Van Noordennen of the Eastern Football League have been recognised for their commitment and tireless work in shaping the next generation of Victorian umpires with the 2017 Umpire Coach of the Year Awards.
Acknowledged at the recent Community Football Awards night, Vaughan becomes the first recipient of the newly named Greg Sidebottom Memorial Umpire Coach of the Year award, which recognises one of the state’s top community umpire coaches.
Umpiring for more than 45 years across both metropolitan and country football leagues, Greg Sidebottom was selected as the namesake of the annual award, which comes after the well-known AFL Goulburn Murray umpire tragically passed away last season.
Vaughan said he was honoured to be the inaugural recipient of the award.
“It’s a real privilege for me to receive this award….Greg was an amazing person within the umpiring community and was a well-respected man, so I’m greatly honoured.”
Recognised for his ability to continually challenge his umpiring panel to improve, Vaughan introduced a number of different initiatives throughout the Gippsland Umpiring Association this season which led to greater umpiring results.
In addition to the introduction of pre-game briefings involving umpires, club and league officials, Vaughan also assigned mentors and observers to each umpire, which has led to more regular and meaningful feedback for each umpire.
Fellow 2017 Umpire Coach of the Year recipient Scott Van Noordennen has also played a key role in significantly developing the quality of all umpiring development programs at the Eastern Football League.
Having been in the industry both as an umpire and umpire’s coach for the last 15 years, Van Noordennen’s focus on creating recruitment and retention programs for umpires has led to a significant boost in umpire numbers.
Managing over 500 umpires across the league, Van Noordennen has been instrumental in creating a positive learning environment for umpires, and has been vital with the implementation of effective communication and skill development initiatives, which all umpires place a high importance on.