Sport

Best in the business

By Riverine Herald

THE PAST 18 months have gone by in a blur for Echuca Moama Rockets Auskick coach Mark McGann.

From winning the Sportstar coach of the year award in March 2017, to leading his charges out on the MCG, and the one-and-all inclusion game this year, it was topped off when he was named the Goulburn Murray Coaches Association’s Auskick coach of the year on October 4 Held at Barooga Sporties, the annual GMCA dinner recognised the best in the business.

McGann insisted he was unaware of his nomination.

‘‘I really didn’t know I was nominated . . . we rocked up and won it,’’ McGann laughed.

‘‘I would assume Trevor Mellington from AFL Victoria nominated me.

But it was a big surprise, it’s not what I do it for of course,’’ he said.

Also awarded on the night was under-12 coach of the year Ben Hearn from the Moama Football Netball Club.

‘‘We’ve had a bit to do with Moama, they’ve been very supportive of our Auskickers, when it comes to our team Moama has been fantastic. We trained with their under-12s, and Ben was a deserving winner as well,’’ McGann said.

Highlights for McGann in 2018 have been seeing his Auskickers run out during the St Kilda-Melbourne match in July for the half-time match.

And the one-and-all inclusion game where local senior football players and personalities took to the field to play with and against the Rockets.

‘‘We didn’t get to watch much of the footy, I think we got the first five minutes and St Kilda got home in the last couple of minutes.

‘‘We had buddies come down with us from Echuca, Echuca United and Moama and they came down on the day as well.

‘‘Another highlight was the one and all inclusion game, they had another hit out there and it was just great,’’ McGann said.

The 2018 GMCA coach of the year was announced on the night as Nathalia’s Craig Kellow, who led his Purples to a fourth consecutive Murray Football League seniors minor and major premiership.

AFL Goulburn Murray coaches awards:

Auskick coach of the year: Mark McGann, Echuca Rockets.

Junior coach of the year (under-12 and below): Ben Hearn, Moama.

Female coach of the year: Fiona Byrnes, Nathalia.

Netball coach of the year: Jessica Bamblett, Rumbalara.

Youth coach of the year (under-13 to under-18): Rob Allen, Cobram.

Senior coach of the year: Craig Kellow, Nathalia.