Orara’s Josh Brown isn’t easily rattled.
But he was taken aback – pleasantly so – to hear he’d been named the Newcastle Permanent Community Award Coach of the Month for September.
Along with Ryan Webber, he’s co-coach of the Orara Valley 15s – and their squad is decidedly and delightfully different to most.
“It’s an Under 15 boys competition but 90 per cent of the team are female because a number of boys got injured early in the season,” Josh said.
That said, his experience as a mentor and strong club contributor has been telling.
Josh has been coaching for 10 years-plus – 3rd division, 2nd division, reserve grade, and … taking a raggle taggle 13s outfit to a grand final two years back.
“They were a riff-raff bunch of kids,” he laughed, “but I think they enjoyed the structure.”
“It’s not that you take a hard line – but it’s about being fair and getting them to have fun and taking the opportunity to learn something along the way.
“They took that onboard and it was great to see the little milestones of skills – because some of them will be in football for a very long time.”
Josh still enjoys playing – for the Over 35s and 2nds, and admits “I’m lucky to have both outlets (as well as coaching).”
Developing the players of tomorrow has been immensely rewarding, he said.
“The more I do it, the more I appreciate it,” Josh said.
“Football is a large part of our community out at Orara Valley, so it’s just good to help out.”
Josh stressed he and Ryan were very much a team act in guiding their 15s: “We are very much equal in leading the team, so a huge shout-out to Ryan.”