DEDERANG-Mt Beauty coach Jack Neil has played down his role in the Bombers’ resurgence in the Tallangatta and District league this season.
Neil, who was named the AFL North East Border’s Senior Coach of the Year on Monday night, said the entire club had pulled together after being in crisis last year.
“It’s humbling to win the award,” Neil said.
“I’m slightly red-faced though because plenty of people are doing exceptional jobs for the club.
“I really appreciate it but everyone is pulling in the right direction and I’m lucky to be working with a lot of good people at Dederang-Mt Beauty.
“We have come a long way.”
Dederang-Mt Beauty focused heavily on recruiting former players this season and climbed from last to sixth on the premiership ladder under Neil.
Nick Iaria, Brent Ohlin, Andrew Hill and Dale Lappin were among the players to return.
“We probably set ourselves to win five or six games and we won nine,” he said.
“We had a shot at making the finals in the last round.
“The biggest thing is the club’s health though.
“Our supporter base has grown rapidly and we have a really cohesive football and netball group which had been missing for a while.
“We are really proud to have local people back involved.”
Yackandandah’s Jason McPherson won the Youth Coach of the Year, Magpies’ Trent Allan took out the Junior Coach of the Year and Baranduda’s Leah Bowles was named Auskick Coach of the Year.
Corowa-Rutherglen’s Georgie Bruce was named the Netball Coach of the Year after leading the Roos’ A grade side.
Wodonga Raiders’ Glenn Perrett picked up the volunteer award and Wodonga Bulldogs received the outstanding initiative for their work with the Wodonga Jets.
Former AFL coach Rodney Eade was guest speaker at the function.