Junior Coach of the Year: Paul Bricklebank.
Paul has been an absolute superstar with his delivery of First Kicks this year, supported by some members of the Grade 12 Federation Team. Paul combines his amazing football talent and knowledge with his small-people-management-skills (he’s a teacher!) to make first kicks a very fun and organised football learning environment for our Grade 5 & 6 children. A massive thanks to you Paul on behalf of the Committee, all first kicks players, parents and caregivers.
Junior Football Senior Coach of the Year – Ryan Yardley.
Ryan has once again contributed significantly to the club through providing excellent coaching to both a Grade 11+ team as well as the Girls Development Squad, taking charge of the U14 Girls team. Ably assisted by Victoria, Ryan has an awesome manner, is knowledgeable and creates a fun learning environment encouraging all players to extend themselves and develop to their potential. Ryan’s teams always show great team unity, and we sincerely thank you Ryan for all you bring to the club.
Junior Reps Coach of the Year – Steve Giles and Marcus Prestney.
Steve and Marcus have taken this years Grade 12 team into the very competitive G12 Waikato Development League. This has been a massive commitment, with games every Sunday against very strong (and much bigger) Waikato clubs. The team has performed incredibly well, with all games being extremely close and with the team sitting mid-table before the premature end to the season. There is no team in the league that Taupo is not capable of beating. This is a great testament to Steve and Marcus for the work they have put in to the team, including the advanced football certifications they needed to obtain, and the skill development and great passing game that the team has adopted – a massive well done and thank you to you both.
Sporting Team of the Year – Grade 12 Federation
The Waikato Development League is a step up from Saturday football for these 11+12 year olds. These players showed great commitment, with two practices a week and games on Sunday. With away games often being a 2 hour drive away, football often took the entire day. The team developed individually and as a team over the season, and showed willingness to learn and try new things. Despite this already large time commitment, many of the team also got involved as supporting coaches for the First Kicks program on Saturday mornings. Getting our older players involved in coaching our younger players is something we love to see in the club. Our youngest players really look up to the “Big Kids” & the older players find that having to go back to basics actually ends up helping their own game.Special Mention to Glory. Glory in Grade 11 had a challenging season, but what was always impressive with this team was that they kept their positivity and awesome sportsmanship right through the season and kept playing some really good football – well done!
Volunteer of the Year – Rachel Lilburn.
Rachel has been a revelation for the club this year, taking on the Junior Administrator role (which is a massive role in itself) plus SO much more! Rachel single-handedly secured the funding that allowed us to purchase all new team kits this year, she has taken our Junior Communications to a whole new level (some would say into the 21st century!) with much better use of social media and our awesome club website (thanks ninetyblack!), is a very active promoter of the club with constant photos and updates, took Summer 5 a-side (with Shelley Brown – thanks Shelley!), is the Taupo AFC Sponsorship Manager (securing all sponsorship and funding for the club), is a Development Squad coach, and is generally a very, very active member of our committee! We hope she hasn’t worn herself out and will be back again next year! We can’t thank you enough Rachel.