Phil Lynch from Bellingen FC was announced the Newcastle Permanent Coach of the Year by Northern New South Wales Football and North Coast Football.
Many North Coast Football clubs would be frothing with delight to have a coach-at-large in the like of Phil Lynch moving about their ranks.
Bellingen is blessed to have the long-time servant of the game as a mentor with a license to roam.
Phil has been coaching for 54 years, and played for 50 – and has a special commission at the foot of the mountains.
The Newcastle Permanent Coach of the Year doesn’t have an actual team – but steps in to develop skills based on needs.
“I go down Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays running drills with as many teams as possible – whether it’s Under 12s, 15s, girls, or whatever,” Phil said.
“I’m sort of a Mr Fixit. If a coach says ‘our guys can’t break open an attack’ for instance I’ll try and help, or I might work with the goalkeepers.”
Aside from a lifetime of service to the game, Phil has the credentials as a player – turning out for Ku-ring-gai where he grew up and representing Hakoah who eventually morphed into Sydney FC.
When he moved to the coast in 1980, he linked with Urunga as a player in the Premier League.
The retired school teacher now aged 68 said he was delighted and somewhat red-faced to win the Coach of the Year award in a vast region which spans from Newcastle to the Tweed on the coast and past Tamworth to the west.
“Embarrassed because there are a lot of other coaches out there doing good things,” Phil said.
And he had some sage advice for anyone new to the clipboard.
“Number one, you’re not out there to win. You’re there to teach the kids to play better football,” he said.
“This win at all costs thinking is no good for kids.
“I had one boy who scored 60 goals in a season. The next year whenever he scored a hat-trick I would move him to centre back, because he didn’t gain anything from scoring seven goals in a game and neither did the other players.”