AN experienced Hampden league junior coach and a first-year Deakin University Female Football League mentor have received a nod ahead of the 2018 Community Football Awards.
Third-year Koroit under 18.5 coach Ben van de Camp and Timboon Demons female football coach Laura Hickey were nominated for the AFCA Victorian 2018 coach of the year awards, which will be presented at a gala dinner on Friday.
Hickey, who was the inaugural coach of the Demons’ under 18 girls football team, had her first season of mentoring up-and-coming women’s footballers rewarded with a nomination for female coach of the year.
Van de camp, who led the Hampden under 18.5 interleague side to victory over Bendigo in May and the Saints’ 18.5 side to a grand final, is one of four finalists in the youth coach of the year award.
The former Greater Western Rebels and Old Collegians under 17.5 coach has eight years of coaching experience in the region under his belt.
Hickey, who jumped into coaching netball and now football after a health issue at an early age derailed her sporting endeavors, had mixed emotions about receiving the nomination.
“I wasn’t really expecting it, especially being my first year as a coach,” she said.
“It’s an honour and a shock at the same to be nominated for an award like this.
“It’s been great to be able to set up a team in a small town like Timboon and have 26 girls play their first year was brilliant.”