Victoria’s Australian Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Coach of the Year recipients have been announced, following the 2017 AFL Victoria Community Football Awards gala dinner on Friday night.
Five of the state’s most outstanding coaches were recognised in one of five categories including NAB Auskick, Junior, Youth, Female and Senior.
See below a brief summary of the 2017 Coach of the Year winners
RAY ALLSOPP NAB AFL AUSKICK COACH THE YEAR AWARD
DAVID HENSON (Nyah Nyah West United FC)
David Henson has been in charge of the Nyah Nyah West United FC Auskick program since 1999, and was rewarded for his dedication with Club Life Membership. Several of his Auskick participants have gone on to coach their own teams, which is a testament to his teaching ability. David has an excellent knowledge of teaching skills and game fundamentals which suits the wide range of abilities in his group. David has the respect of all members of the club and as such is his reputation, that participants from nearby clubs also join his squads.
DAVID PARKIN JUNIOR COACH THE YEAR AWARD
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.
STAN ALVES YOUTH COACH OF THE YEAR
TROY SCOBLE (Melton FC)
Troy comes from an assistant coaching role at the Western Jets, and his work with some of the state’s best footballers is reflected in his work at Melton. He utilises vision, whiteboard sessions, Q&A sessions, player-driven reviews, and exams to get the best out of his players. During matchday, Troy has a player rotation system that evenly spreads game time, and demonstrates his dedication to his role. He also ensures that his players demonstrate the values and behaviours that reflect the club in a positive light. With experience in managing a Sport, Recreation, Leisure & Youth department with his local council, Troy really understands the importance of health and wellbeing, and how to communicate with the youth.
PETA SEARLE FEMALE COACH OF THE YEAR
JANE LANGE (Darebin Falcons)
Jane navigates the Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s league with a calm and clear focus, keeping team rules and individual roles as a priority over the final outcome. She always comes into a game prepared with opposition information. Being a former player of the club means that she knows and understands what the club expects, and strives to demonstrate the Darebin’s values. Her expert guidance has led to 15 Darebin players being picked for the inaugural AFLW league, and cemented the club’s reputation as one of female football’s most powerful forces.
GERARD FITZGERALD SENIOR COACH OF THE YEAR
PAUL NEWMAN (Kyabram FNC)
Paul puts a strong focus on fitness as coach of Kyabram, working with one of the top fitness coaches in the country and a boxing coach to get the best out of his players. He has a strong understanding of what makes each of his players tick, and is able to manage his messages and delivery to suit each of his players. During team addresses, ‘respect the opposition’ is a common theme, as he wants his team to play hard, but fair, and to focus on the task at hand. When the hard decisions have to be made, Paul is not afraid to take the responsibility and be the one to make the call. Never getting ahead of themselves is a key focus of his team.