Coffs Coast Tigers Coach Jason Snell was named Coach of the Year for 2016, beating fellow Premier League coaches Peter Snow and Guiseppe Terranova.
Snell won the award, which is based on votes from fellow Premier League clubs, ahead of Urunga Coach Peter Snow, Maclean Coach Guiseppe Terranova and Storm coach Scott Donaldson.
Although the Tigers failed to make the Grand Finals, Jason Snell has brought the team from an eighth placed finish last season to fourth spot, and has them pushing the likes of Coffs United and Urunga Raiders every time they meet.
In their first semi-final this season, against Premiers Coffs United, the Tigers played with a high intensity and suppressed the Lions attack, winning the match 1-0.
If it weren’t for a master-class performance from United’s Deng Mayak the following week, the Tigers might’ve been facing Urunga Raiders in the Grand Final.
However, despite disappointment at the death, Coffs Coast Tigers were playing far better this season than they probably should’ve been, and grinding out results thanks to the hard work of coach Jason Snell.
Tigers captain Dane Dixon praised his coaches efforts, that often go unnoticed.
“You just know he’s committed, he puts in a lot of time behind the scenes, goes around and watches other teams play, does a lot of research for each game, and that breeds confidence for me because you know he’s prepared and it means we can trust his gameplans.”
Jason Snell said he is honoured to receive the award, and will come back bigger and stronger next year with the Tigers.
“To get this award as a coach when you’re coaching a team who came 8th the year before, and to earn the respect of your players, it’s a big deal. The best thing is helping them find a passion and watching them improve.”
“It proved a point to a few people as well I think. There were issues at a few other clubs, and Coffs Coast Tigers were willing to give me a chance. They got me passionate about the game again, and I’ll definitely be back again next season pushing to go one further.”
Meanwhile, Maclean Bobcats’ Anton Pottapel won the Women’s Premier League Coach of the Year, capping off an impressive season for the club.
The Bobcats came second on the table, beating the likes of Woolgoolga Wildcats and Urunga Raiders, and are now through to the Grand Finals to take on Boambee Eagles.
The Eagles started the season as favourites, and Maclean, having struggled in 2015, weren’t tipped for a top four spot.
The Bobcats came 6th last season, with just 7 points to show for their season, and Potappel has managed to turn this around to a huge 30 points and second placed finish.