Wallis Lake's stellar run through 2019 has continued with first grade coach Jeff Summers being awarded the Premier League Coach of the Year.
Mr Summers accepted the award at the Football Mid North Coast presentation awards night and was taken aback by the achievement.
"I was pretty spun-out," he said.
"It was a total surprise."
After 10 years of coaching junior soccer players in the area through his business the Jeff Summers Football Academy, Mr Summers stepped up and took the reigns of the Wallis Lake premier league first grade team this year and enjoyed instant success, leading the side to a premiership.
He said the transition from coaching juniors to adults took a bit of adjusting to but was ultimately invaluable to his development as a coach.
"It was absolutely brilliant," he said.
"They're a great bunch of blokes to coach."
Mr Summers took his 10-year-old daughter along to the night, held at Laurieton United Services Club, and said it was a special moment accepting the award in front of her.
He had another reason to celebrate when Rainbow Warriors FC, the team of special needs kids he's been involved with since they formed in 2018, were awarded the team of the year.
The Rainbow Warriors were started by Matt Zarb, whose youngest son Marli has autism, and Mr Summers helped run a training program for the kids in 2018 before Taree Wildcats coach Ben Sedlan took over this year.
Mr Summers said the recognition the Rainbow Warriors received on the night was heartwarming and reflected the positive impact the program has been able to have in a short time.
"The whole of Mid North Coast was cheering," he said.
"It was really well-received."
He believed the program would continue to grow and said the Manning-Great Lakes community had been unbelievably supportive.
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