Darcy Robinson has been rewarded for leading Mathoura back to finals football for the first time in almost a decade with the Picola & District Football League Senior Coach of the Year award.
The Timbercutters finished the season in eighth position after six wins before their season came to an end against Rennie in an elimination final.
Robinson was co-coach at Mathoura last season but 2019 was his first year solo in charge.
Despite leading the Timbercutters to their first finals appearance in eight years, the key forward admitted winning the award was far from his mind.
‘‘It’s a fantastic award to win, but it was a bit of a shock,’’ he said.
‘‘Coming up against coaches like John Varcoe (Picola United), Jedd Wright (Katamatite), Josh Bode (Deni Rovers) and Craig Ednie (Rennie), you’re amongst some quality company.
‘‘When you’re coaching you don’t think about what other people from other clubs or league officials think of you, you just go out there and do your job.
‘‘To get that recognition from my peers and the league is quite humbling.’’
After just three wins in 2018, Robinson was intent on helping the club move forward and he said the individual award was recognition for the work from numerous people at the club.
‘‘To make finals was a huge stepping stone for the club,’’ he said.
‘‘But I wouldn’t have achieved what I did without the support of the committee and playing group.
‘‘When everyone has a common goal it makes your job much easier as a coach.
‘‘We would rather be preparing for a grand final but it’s all about taking small steps to get there.
‘‘From the position where the club was in the past, we’re excited about what we have to look forward to.’’
With Robinson fulfilling the role of a playing coach, he has needed support on the bench to help keep a watchful eye over the game.
That’s where Rory Pridell comes in.
‘‘I’ve been very lucky to learn from a guy with Rory’s knowledge and experience,’’ Robinson said.
‘‘Having him on the bench gives me the confidence to be able to play my role for the team. Without him we probably wouldn’t have had the success we did this season.
‘‘I’m looking forward to continue working with him in the future.
‘‘But I’ll always appreciate the way he has been my assistant coach in life as well.’’
Mathoura have already announced Robinson has been re-signed for next season.
Robinson said plans for his side’s attack on the 2020 season have already begun.
‘‘We sat down and had an exit meeting recently with the club’s committee and netball and footy players,’’ he said.
‘‘We touched on where we want to be as a club and the fact that we want to build a strong winning culture in all grades.
‘‘It’s all good and well to say these things but now it’s up to all of us to follow through.
‘‘We have strong people at the club and in the committee who are dedicated to reach the club’s goals.’’