Nominations fly in for Coach of the Year

New Zealand Football and McDonald's are again on the hunt to find the country's Junior Coach of the Year. Photo: Marc Shannon /

The McDonald’s Junior Coach of the Year Award has attracted even more interest than in its inaugural edition with over 500 selfless volunteers being put forward in 2017.

Nominations for the competition closed last month and each of New Zealand Football’s seven federations now face a tough task to decide on their regional shortlist from the hundreds of worthy entries.

NZF Junior Football Development Manager Owain Prosser has overseen the nomination process and is excited at the prospect of rewarding some of the over 6,000 coaches who put their hands up to help ‘kick start’ the football dreams of Kiwi kids.

“This year saw a large increase in the amount of nominations we received from all over the country,” he says.

“It is a testament to the selfless volunteers who provide high-quality junior football week in, week out. They play a key role in helping children to have a positive experience at an early age, igniting a passion for the game and learning skills that will be with them for life.”

Prosser says New Zealand Football is hugely grateful to the support of McDonald’s, who have again generously backed the quest to find the country’s Junior Coach of the Year.

“It is fantastic that McDonald’s provide this opportunity to reward our junior football coaches throughout New Zealand and is another example of them helping us achieve our goal of more people playing and loving the game.”

Nominations were encouraged for positive behaviour both on and off the pitch, including supporting players positively from the touch line, introducing new players to the game and helping out in their local community.

The most worthy recipients will all be rewarded with prizes on offer across three tiers. Three regional shortlist winners will be selected from each federation with each receiving a coaching pack – consisting of footballs, football bags, bibs and cones – while, on top of that, seven regional Coach of the Year winners will also be provided with a t-shirt, shorts, socks, rain jacket, tactics board and trophy.

The overall prize for national Junior Coach of the Year is an amazing football experience for two people in Abu Dhabi, including a behind-the-scenes look at Auckland City’s preparations for the FIFA Club World Cup.

“As the primary supporter of junior football, McDonald’s are delighted to again be offering a competition for Coach of the Year,” says Simon Kenny, Head of Communications for McDonald’s NZ.

“As a junior football coach myself, I recognise the importance of the coaching role and understand the commitment that is involved throughout the season. Whether children want to have fun, make new friends or follow in the footsteps of their heroes on the world stage, junior football coaches support them to kick start their dreams.”

A shortlist of three coaches from each federation will be announced on Monday 14 August with the regional winners to be named on Friday 18 August. The over McDonald’s Junior Coach of the Year will be revealed on Tuesday 22 August.

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