WODONGA Saints coach Terry Burgess is the AFL North East Border Coaches Association’s coach of the year.
Burgess, who has helped turn the struggling Tallangatta and District league club around, was recognised after taking on what the association labelled “one of the region’s most challenging roles”.
But the 1983 Morris medallist played down the significance of his own personal achievement, saying the award was more of a reflection on the club than himself.
“From my point of view, that’s what it shows,” Burgess said.
“It shows we’re making progress and heading in the right direction.
“We just want this club up and about and competitive.”
Burgess, who has already signed on for next year, said the Saints’ improvement was far from finished.
Burgess said 90 per cent of the Saints’ core group had already re-committed for next season and that he hoped to add three or four quality recruits to bridge the gap next year.
Wodonga’s Mark Wallace took out the youth section for his coaching success with the Bulldogs at under-16 level this year.
He led them to the grand final in the Albury-Wodonga Junior Football League.
Wodonga’s under-12 coach, Damien Cassidy, took out the junior award, while Stephen James from Benalla was recognised as the region’s Auskick coach of the year.
Meanwhile, Murray league coaches Damian Sexton (Finley) and Phil McIntyre (Cobram) won coaching awards for their roles in the Goulburn Murray Association.