WALLAN Football Club senior coach Daniel Nolan has again been recognised for his contribution to the club during the 2021 season, awarded the Gerard Fitzgerald Senior Coach of the Year Award at last week’s AFL Victoria Community Awards.
During the online presentation, Nolan said it reflected the hard work of the entire club during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am very fortunate to be a part of the Wallan Football Club, going into my seventh year next year. We have a hard-working committee, strong culture and just that sense of a family environment, which I am really proud to be a part of,” he said.
“We’re still going into a bit of the unknown and that’s where we need our strong leadership.
“It makes me reflect on what are the things that are so great about community sport and to get back to the basics on that and not to take those things for granted that maybe we did prior to this lockdown period.
“[It’s] making sure that the community is supported not just at training and when we are with them on game day, but also outside and do the best we can as leaders to support them with their job, their family and making sure we’re getting back through the COVID period.”
Nolan dedicated the award to his late father Barry, who died in August after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Barry played 185 games from 1974 to 1985 for Brunswick Football Club, including three Victorian Football Association premierships, where he tied for the JJ Liston Trophy best and fairest award in 1978.
He coached Brunswick for five years before moving to the Eastern District Football League, where he coached Craigieburn, Jacana, West Coburg and Wallan.
“He really looked at the relationship side of coaching and that aspect of being their friend outside of the football environment,” Nolan said.
“When I first started coaching and was looking at recruiting he said, ‘Daniel, just focus on the person and then the player’ and that’s a recruiting philosophy that I have taken with me.
“This award is definitely dedicated to my dad and hopefully he’s proud.”
Broadford Junior Football Club under nine’s coach Brooke Currell was among the finalists for the Peta Searle Female Coach of the Year, while Wallan’s Helen Mahoney was a finalist for the AFL Victoria State Metro Volunteer of the Year award.