AFL Barwon favourite Barry Orvis has been awarded the 2017 Allan Jeans Lifetime Achievement Award after almost 20 years of dedicated service to developing and coaching the next generation of AFL talent. Jake Morris reports.
Acknowledged at the 2017 AFL Victoria Community Football Awards last week, the award sees Orvis become the ninth person to receive the accolade in AFCA’s 30-year history, joining the likes of Michael O’Dwyer and Robert Hyde among the fellow recipients.
The 62-year-old has had a decorated career in the sport, which kicked off as a junior footballer for Mount Waverley.
Orvis played under-19s and reserves at Richmond and then won a senior premiership at Queenscliff in 1975, before taking up Auskick and junior coaching positions in the 1990s.
After winning the Coach of the Year award for the Eastern Colts in the Geelong and District Junior Football League in 2002, Barry took on the responsibility of junior coordinator for the club, which saw him tasked with match day operations, parental enquiries and the development of future coaches for the club.
In 2009 Barry joined the Geelong Falcons, stepping into the role of Head Coach of the Under 15 V/Line Cup Program. Shortly after, Barry was named Geelong’s Head of Recruiting and given the nickname the ‘Talent ID Man’ due to his extensive local knowledge of the area. During this time, Barry had a hand in the development of a number AFL players including Taylor Adams, Darcy Parish, Devin Smith, Jed Bews and Paddy McCartin.
On any given weekend, Barry would travel to up to eight junior games across the area to get a gauge of the next crop of standout players, using an old black book to record player numbers, key observations and jotting down all the important details about potential future stars he may uncover.
Despite stepping down from his coaching role at the Falcons in 2016, Barry remains the club’s Head of Recruiting and continues to find and progress young talent through the Falcons’ ranks.
Described as caring and thoughtful by his peers, Barry relates well to his players and actively tries to involve them in their own development in a calm and measured approach, giving them the best opportunity to succeed in the program and represent the Falcons with flying colours in the TAC Cup competition.
Despite stepping down from his coaching position, Barry’s yearn to teach and inspire other people continues to burn brightly, becoming one of the head instructors in a Level One Coach Education Program in the Barwon region. In his role, Barry provides regular support and knowledge to upcoming coaches about the skills of players, match day performances and overall player development strategies.
Barry’s ability to keep strong relationships with players, parents and officials as well continuing his outstanding work at the Falcons and abroad, makes him a worthy recipient of this years’ Allan Jeans Lifetime Achievement Award.