WONTHAGGI Power under 14 coach and junior coordinator Darren Brown was named Coach of the Year by the Gippsland Australian Football Coaches Association at the inaugural AFL Gippsland Community and Coaches Awards on Friday night.
As well as his team’s on-field success, the 47-year-old was recognised for his role in developing junior football at a club that has previously struggled to do so.
Among his initiatives was introducing a boot camp for players that wanted an extra session to improve their fitness and increase team building and social respect, and bridging the gap between the club’s junior and senior playing groups.
Brown was also named Youth Coach of the Year.
Wonthaggi Power president Brett Tessari said the dedicated volunteer is involved in every facet of the club.
“I could not be prouder for Darren and his family. He’s a great club person and the Browns are a great club family,” he said.
“He is in everything at our club. He is part of the master plan for the recreation reserve as well as working with council to redevelop our social rooms.
“There would not be one person that could say a bad word about him and he is a genuinely caring person who led our under 14s to the premiership.
“He is coaching our under 16s next year and along with Ross Bramley, he is running the boot camp for the second year.”
Dalyston Youth Girls coach Ella Angarane was named Female Team Coach of the Year in her second season as coach.
Angarane spearheaded the introduction of the club’s Youth Girls team in 2015 and led the Magpies to the premiership this season.
A number of players she has coached have represented the Gippsland Power Youth Girls team and she is introducing a Dalyston women’s team in 2017.
Inverloch Auskick Centre’s Michael Shone and Steve Stainsby shared the Auskick Coordinator of the Year Award.
League Coach of the Year awards were awarded to Fish Creek senior coach Greg Hoskin (Alberton FNL), Warragul senior coach Steven Kidd (TRFM Gippsland League), Yarram Under 18 coach Jari McDonald (North Gippsland FNL), and Cora Lynn Under 18 coach Ray Payne (Ellinbank and District FL).
Power’s Brown named Gippsland’s top coach