Back Row (Left): Craig Skinner (Newborough JFC – Youth), Gerard Fitzgerald (North Ballarat FC - VFL), Keith Burns (Lifetime Achievement Award), Dean Bailey (Guest presenter - Melbourne FC), Peter McDougall (AFL Victoria), Troy Moncur (Robinvale FNC – Senior). Front Row (Left): Chyloe Kurdas (AFL Victoria), Stan Alves (President AFCA Victoria), Rod Vella (Hillside Auskick – Auskick), Peta Searle (Darebin Women’s Sports Club – Female), Dale Tapping (Sandringham Dragons FC – TAC Cup), Paul Harvey (Hawthorn Citizens JFC – Junior)

Victoria's Best Coaches Honoured

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Victoria’s finest coaches were honored at the MCG recently at the 23rd annual Victorian Australian Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Awards.

More then 270 guests attended the awards ceremony that included an address by Melbourne Football Club coach Dean Bailey.

AFL Victoria Coaching Development Manager Steve Teakel said more than 60 coaches had been recognised by their regional AFCA branch for excellence in coaching. From there, 20 Victorian finalists were chosen across five award categories.

“The Victorian AFCA awards night provides an opportunity to celebrate football at all levels and to acknowledge the significant role coaches play in the development of individual players and teams,” Teakel said.

AFCA Victoria President Stan Alves also presented the Lifetime Achievement to Community Coaching Award which acknowledged AFL Victoria’s Keith Burns for his contribution to coaching and coach education in Victoria.

Some of Keith’s achievements include coaching 785 games over a period of 38 years, at a number of levels including Victorian Primary School teams, community clubs in the Diamond Valley Football League, Collingwood Under 19’s and Northern Knights Under 18’s. In the area of coach education Keith has presented and coordinated courses for 1000’s of community coaches, primary and secondary teachers and tertiary students.

Other coaches to be recognised were Dale Tapping from the Sandringham Dragons as TAC Cup coach of the year and VFL Coach of the Year Gerard Fitzgerald who took the North Ballarat Roosters to their third flag in a row.

The Victorian AFCA winners were:

NAB AFL Auskick Coach of the Year:

Rod Vella – Hillside Auskick (Western Region)

“Rod has been involved in the Hillside Auskick for five years, initially as parent helper who jumped in assist some first time coaches when the centre was in its infancy. Observing Rod in action equips the parent coaches with insights on how to structure a session, manage large groups and incorporate fun activities to develop the skills of the game. He plays a crucial role in the transition of young Auskickers into junior football”

Junior Coach of the Year:

Paul Harvey – Hawthorn Citizens Junior Football Club (Central East Region)

“Paul’s coaching philosophy is based on three pillars – teamwork, enjoyment and competiveness. He is well organised and conducts his training sessions to maximise participation, practice game scenarios and improve individual skills. Variety of playing positions is an important aspect of the coaching plan for the Under 11’s – each player kicked a goal this season! Paul uses his extensive coaching experience to mentor other junior coaches at the club”.

Youth Coach of the Year:

Craig Skinner – Newborough Junior Football Club (Gippsland Region)

“Craig has an extensive coaching resume and uses this experience to deliver training sessions which are varied, enhance and develop existing skills and improve the game style of his Under 14 team. He is a successful match day coach due to his excellent communication skills and knowledge of each player. His knowledge of junior coaching and mentoring of other coaches has seen an improved performance by the leagues interleague teams”.

Female Coach of the Year:

Peta Searle – Darebin Women’s Sports Club (Northern Region)

“Peta is an accredited Level Two coach who has been involved in the VWFL for over 17 years as a player and coach. She is a great communicator, well organized and innovative in her coaching. During the off season she conducted player interviews to ascertain the individual skill needs. This then formed a major part of preseason training to ensure players developed and were afforded the best opportunity to achieve their goals. Peta has created a friendly and positive learning environment for the squad”.

Senior Coach of the Year:

Troy Moncur - Robinvale Football Netball Club (Sunraysia Region)

“Troy has coached Robinvale for three years with the team playing off in three grand finals. He introduced three core values of courage, respect and pride which have guided the club’s improvement both on and off the field. With a new game style, individual coaching of players and consistent feedback have seen the team flourish. Off the field Troy has gathered community support including the staging of a Harmony game, Pink Ladies Day and a Big Brother week where senior players trained with the Robinvale juniors”.  

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