Published on November 9, 2018 11:03 pm

Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media

Community football’s best honoured

A number of Victoria’s top community coaches, volunteers and umpires have been recognised for their outstanding work in season 2018 at the AFL Victoria Community Football Awards on Friday night.

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Over 500 guests were in attendance for the annual event which celebrates the contribution of the state’s best grassroots umpires, NAB AFL Auskick volunteers, Australian Football Coaches Association (AFCA) recipients and the tireless work of more than 78,000 volunteers across the state.

Of the 16,000 accredited coaches in Victoria, the state’s finest were recognised across five AFCA Coach of the Year award categories- NAB AFL Auskick, Junior, Youth, Female and Senior.

Claiming the 2018 Ray Allsopp NAB AFL Auskick Coach of the Year Award was Mark McGann from the Echuca Moama Rockets Auskick Centre, while this year’s David Parkin Junior Coach of the Year Award was presented to College Magpies Junior Football Club coach, Todd O’Sullivan.

Woorinen Football Netball Club’s Brenten Hogan was named the Stan Alves Youth Coach of the Year, Timboon Demons Football Netball Club coach Laura Hickey claimed the Peta Searle Female Coach of the Year Award and Craig Kellow took home the coveted Gerard FitzGerald Senior Coach of the Year title for his efforts at the Nathalia Football Netball Club this season.

Essendon District Football League umpire Don Cooke took home the 2018 Greg Sidebottom Memorial Umpire Coach of the Year award for his work in upskilling the next generation of young umpires, while the state’s Best Community Football Facilities Project was awarded to the Heathcote Football Netball Club.

Assisting hundreds of players with their football careers for over 20-years, St. Patrick’s College stalwart Howard Clark was acknowledged for his outstanding contribution to coaching with the Allan Jeans Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award sees Clark become the tenth person to receive the accolade in AFCA history, joining the likes of, Barry Orvis, Michael O’Dwyer and Robert Hyde among the fellow recipients.

Some of the state’s best NAB AFL Auskick regional managers and long-time volunteers were also recognised for their efforts this season with the Half Time Recognition Awards, Regional Service Awards and Volunteer of the Year Award.

Of the 29 NAB AFL Auskick coordinator finalists, Shane Ryan was named the 2018 Victorian NAB AFL Auskick Volunteer of the Year for his work at the Craigieburn NAB AFL Auskick Centre.

The AFL Victoria Community Football Awards night also acknowledged the worthy recipients of the AFL Merit Awards, WorkSafe AFL Victoria Country Volunteer of the Year Award, AFL Victoria Metropolitan State Volunteer of the Year Award and recognised Victoria’s National Inclusion Carnival All Australian representatives.

 

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