Two top Benalla coaches missed out on being named the best in the north-east on Monday night.
Benalla All Blacks’ head football coach Harry Moran and Goorambat head netball coach Mandy Nelson were finalists in the AFL North East Border’s coach of the year awards.
But they were beaten to the punch by other top performing coaches, with equally fantastic seasons.
Moran was a finalist alongside Evan Nicholson of Corryong FNC, Sam Livingstone of Tallangatta FNC and Tom McGrath of Albury FNC.
Nelson was judged against Tamara Mathews of Lavington FNC and Ana Avery of Tallangatta FNC.
The Commercial Club Albury Senior Coach of the Year award went to McGrath, while the Netball Coach of the Year award went to Mathews.
Nelson said it was an honour to have been named alongside some great coaches from the region.
‘‘It was a really good evening. It was an honour just to be nominated and be in that company. There seemed to be a lot of people there from across the leagues, which was good,’’ she said.
‘‘I’ll stay with them (Goorambat) next year, but I won’t be coaching, as I’m going overseas for 12 weeks in the middle of the season, so I can’t take on that coaching role.
‘‘When I get back hopefully I can cheer them on in next year’s grand final.’’
Nelson led the A and B-grade netball sides to finals this year, and said the B-grade side had made ‘‘huge strides’’ this season.
Moran said his nomination was ‘‘good recognition’’ for his coaching staff, who made his life ‘‘way easier’’ on game day.
‘‘It’s a good bit of recognition for the club and the coaching staff. You’re only as good as your coaches, and the credit went to me on the night but if I didn’t have those guys around me I wouldn’t have been nominated,’’ he said.
‘‘So the credit goes to my assistant coaches Paul O’Brien, Colin Tatterson and Shane Allen, as well as Doug Aiton, who’s the team manager.’’
Moran has overseen the Panthers’ top side record its best season since the 1990s.
On Saturday it has the chance to win the club’s first premiership in more than 30 years.