Former Wallis Lake premier league coach Jeff Summers said he was surprised and honoured to find out his footballing achievements had been recognised in State parliament.
Mr Summers received a letter from member for the Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead, on Tuesday, December 3, notifying him that Mr Bromhead had brought his achievements in the past 12 months to the attention of the NSW Legislative Assembly.
"I was absolutely blown away," Mr Summers said.
"It was a total surprise."
Putting forth a community recognition statement on Thursday, October 24, Mr Bromhead drew attention to a number of Mr Summers' achievements.
"Mr Speaker, I rise to congratulate football coach Jeff Summers on a highly-successful year coaching Wallis Lake's premier league-winning first grade team," he said.
"Summers took on the role of first grade coach at the club at the start of 2019 and was able to translate his considerable experience coaching junior players into success at the top level.
"After finishing the regular season in third position, Wallis Lake built momentum through the finals before defeating minor premiers' Port United in a nail-biting grand final.
"Jeff is no stranger to coaching spending 10 years coaching junior soccer players in the area through his business the Jeff Summers Football Academy.
"After a stellar 2019 season Jeff was announced Football Mid North Coast Premier League Coach of the Year.
"He had another reason to celebrate on the night when the Rainbow Warriors FC, a team of special needs kids he's been involved with since they formed in 2018, were awarded the team of the year.
"Jeff has a great passion for the game and through his academy has kicked off a pre-school program for kids aged two to five, an initiative to develop basic ball skills, social interaction and gross motor skills."
Mr Summers said while he was flattered by everything Mr Bromhead listed, the recognition of his work with young players was particularly satisfying.
"Youth development is my passion," he said.
"Not necessarily just getting kids playing at a representative level, but getting them in there and enjoying football."
And while he'd been singled out individually, he said there were a lot of people who'd helped him immensely along the way.
Chief among these were the players and club members at Wallis Lake, senior coaches at his academy, Roan Whiteman and Tony Russ, and most of all, his family.
"I have a wonderful team and family around me," he said.
While Mr Summers would not be returning as the coach of Wallis Lake in 2020, he said he still had a lot of exciting developments in the works for next year, including a number of new programs, the growth and expansion of his academy, and his continued involvement with the Samuel Brett Nelson Kickstart Foundation.
Stay ahead with local news by signing up for the Great Lakes Advocate newsletter here.