THE EDFL was well-represented at last week’s AFL Victoria Community Football Awards.
Don Cooke (pictured on the night with EDFL chairman, Brett Scott) was awarded the Greg Sidebottom Memorial Umpire Coach of the Year award following his 50th year involved with umpiring.
Cooke is a decorated figure within EDFL umpiring circles, having served 12 years as a field umpire coach for both junior and senior umpires.
In 2018, Cooke was responsible for developing and establishing a pathways program for field umpires who were identified as having the potential to progress to senior level.
Eleven participants aged between 16 and 22 umpired senior EDFL football in 2018.
“The league has benefited greatly from Don’s program,” EDFL Manager of Umpiring, Rowan Sawers, told essendondfl.com.au.
“The program helped our junior umpires transition seamlessly into senior football and it will continue to benefit the EDFL greatly for years to come.
“It’s a very well-deserved award for Don for the countless hours he’s contributed to umpiring over many decades.”
Meanwhile, Craigieburn Auskick Centre’s Shane Ryan collected the Victorian NAB Auskick Volunteer of the Year award.
Ryan was among 29 Auskick Coordinator finalists in contention for the award.