Gippsland Power coach Leigh Brown has been named the TAC Cup Coach of the Year at the annual TAC Cup awards night.
Brown is the first of Gippsland Power’s 12 head coaches over the clubs 25-year history to win the award and said it was an achievement for the whole club.
“To win the Coach of the Year is a really big honour and it just shows the reward for effort for all the hard work that’s been put in throughout the year, not only by myself but all the other coaches as well so it’s really an award for the whole coaching group,” Brown said.
“It’s also a reward for all the hard work that’s been put into the club over the last four years and that shows with what we’re doing at Gippsland Power.”
Brown said his main coaching focus was to foster improvement among players and give them a platform for long-term success.
“We’re on the right track and we just want to give kids opportunities to achieve their dreams and provide a pathway,” he said.
“Our goal is just to keep promoting the boys and developing them and we’ve certainly done that.”
Brown is also the first person to win both the TAC Cup Coaches’ Award, an award given to the player who is voted by the competition coaches as the most influential player throughout the season, and Coach of the Year.
A decorated TAC Cup player for Power, Brown won the TAC Cup Coaches’ Award in 1999.
In his fourth year as head coach Brown has been acknowledged by his peers for not just his brilliant football strategy and game sense, but his ability to develop players.
Power finished the 2017 home and away season with an 8-10 win-loss loss record in seventh overall.
Gippsland Power talent manager Peter Francis was full of praise for his former Power charge.
“Leigh really does go above and beyond” Francis said.
“The work that he puts into his preparation is second to none. What these boys get each week in terms of individualised video reviews and feedback is exceptional.
“He never stops thinking about how he can give each player on the list the best chance to be drafted, he is always coming into my office asking ‘what do you think about this’ and throwing different ideas around.
“It’s so pleasing to see him acknowledged for the work that he puts in and what he has achieved with this group this season.”
Brown has established a family-like culture at the Power in season 2017 that is having a positive impact across the club on a daily basis.
“The relationships that Leigh builds with his players, parents and our staff has created a really close and supportive professional environment,” Francis said.
With the AFL restructuring the elite pathways, Brown also took on an assistant coaching role with the Victoria Country under 18 team that competed in the NAB AFL Under 18 National Championships.
As head coach Brown also plays a pivotal role in assisting and developing the coaches and players of Power’s under 15, 16 and girls’ teams.
Gippsland Power take on Geelong Falcons in an elimination final on Sunday, 10 September in Ballarat.