BPL Coach of the Month

Coach of the Year – Terry Kirkham (Peninsula Power)

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Hot on the heels of guiding Peninsula Power to a win in the Brisbane Premier League Grand Final, Terry Kirkham has been named the Red Lion Football/Queensland Soccer News Coach of the Year from the Brisbane Premier League.

What looked like would be a rebuilding year down on the peninsula with only three players remaining from last year’s squad and Kirkham coming back to the club after a three-season absence has turned into major success with the coach delighted that his efforts and that of his squad were recognised after being written off as legitimate contenders in many quarters prior to the start of the season.

‘I was just ecstatic after coaching for so long to be told that I would be receiving this award. It’s been a lot of work, not by just me but by the boys behind the scenes, including Rob Wallbridge, Dom Hudak, Dave Wells and then all the players who have just been fantastic.’

‘I just gave the vision and everyone bought into it and they’ve stuck behind it.’

Respect was high on the list of qualities that Kirkham pinpointed as a reason his side’s successful season, ‘Well it’s just their efforts and their respect more than anything else. To build a change-room and have so much respect from everybody and that respect goes both ways because if it didn’t, I wouldn’t have them there.’

The tight-knit nature of the squad was evident on Grand Final day with the squad gathering for a team breakfast where there was plenty of banter and happy faces. The coach had one final word on the culture of the club who collected their third Grand Final trophy in a row on Sunday evening.

‘It’s just a great place to be and I think that’s what’s been a big driver of our success.’

August – Warren Moon (Lions FC)

Congratulations to Lions FC coach, Warren Moon, who is the Red Lion Football/Queensland Soccer News Coach of the Month for August from the Brisbane Premier League.

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(Picture: © Ian Judd – FB Media)

As you’re probably aware, Lions FC have swept everything before them this year in winning the league and the Canale Travel Cup as well as qualifying for the final rounds of the FFA Cup. All that is left now is the Premier League Grand Final which the club qualified for on Sunday afternoon in a come from behind win against Eastern Suburbs.

Unfortunately, Moon won’t be on hand for the big occasion on Sunday week as he is currently in Europe in a long-standing commitment that was in place prior to his taking the role at Lions FC. In this technological age, we still managed to get in contact to inform him of his award and reflect on the achievements of his team this season.

‘The achievements would have to be winning the league firstly but secondly our journey in the FFA Cup which was memorable for the boys and the club.’

‘The effort the boys have put in to mount a challenge in the league and FFA Cup has been tremendous and they have shown enormous character and belief to not drop there standards.’

Reflecting on his personal achievements after being appointed coach in the previous off-season, ‘For me personally it’s been about getting to know my surroundings at a new club and making sure I was able to get my message across to the boys so they can go out and be successful.’

Congratulations Warren on the award!

July – Bobby Hamilton (Wolves FC)

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Congratulations to Bobby Hamilton from Wolves FC who is the Red Lion Football/Queensland Soccer News Brisbane Premier League Coach of the Month for July. The selection panel was impressed with Wolves unbeaten run through that month.

Hamilton came into the club in tough circumstances after the well-documented departure of former coach Sam Saif at the end of last year with the majority of last year’s Premiership-winning squad also leaving. This meant that Hamilton had to shape a whole new team and they are starting to gel, with the second half of the season providing better results than the first, something the coach reflected on.

“I think the reason we’ve had a fairly sound second half of the season is because of the players. The players have been really committed. I’ve said all along to the players continually, I’ve been really happy with their commitment, their effort and dedication. We spoke about if we keep doing that, things will start to improve, we’ll get results and I think we have done that and it’s all credit to the players.”

One of the players who has grabbed his opportunity in the first team is Alistair Davis and is a surprising co-leader in the league’s Golden Boot race, netting 17 of his side’s 34 goals this season with two hat-tricks in his last three matches.

Hamilton offered, “For a team sitting in eighth spot (that achievement) is fair unique and if he ends up getting that (Golden Boot winner) over the next few weeks, it will be a great achievement for him. Particularly in the off-season he was a bit of a slow starter because he had a long-term injury and it took him a little while at the beginning of the season to get full fitness and his sharpness. Once he’s got that, he’s really kicked on.”

June – Sam Saif (Mitchelton)

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Congratulations to Mitchelton FC coach Sam Saif who has been selected as the Red Lion Football/Queensland Soccer News Coach of the Month from the Brisbane Premier League on the back of four wins during June.

While currently sitting second on the table and currently meeting Saif’s target for the season of a top four finish, the job is not yet done, ‘We’ve still got another three games maybe to secure a top four position. I think we’ve got the hardest run in of any side in the top half of the league so we’ve just got to take every game as it comes.’

Reflecting on bringing a brand new squad together at his new club after an off-season switch from Wolves FC, Saif said it hasn’t been an easy task in getting a new playing group to gel, ‘We’ve had more injuries than anyone and for the last four weeks, we’ve only had eleven fit players. We’ve had nobody on the bench, we’ve had to put reserves on after they’ve just finished playing. To be where we are is a massive credit to all the players.’

Speaking when receiving the award, he acknowledged the effort of all involved at Mitchelton, ‘I always think the award is a recognition of the players and a club as a whole, I’m just the figurehead. Without the players, the coaching staff, the club people that run it, these awards don’t just come to one person, they come to the club.’

May – Steve Glockner (Eastern Suburbs)

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Steve Glockner is the latest recipient of the Red Lion Football/Queensland Soccer News Coach for the Month for May from the Brisbane Premier League.

After claiming the pre-season Silver Boot competition, things got off to a slow start for the Tigers but a perfect record in May has seen them come back into contention for a finals berth and that is why Steve was our choice for the latest award.

Reflecting on the start of the season, Glockner said, “It’s been one of the strangest starts to the season I’ve ever had after after winning the Silver Boot. We lost five games and three of those were just by the odd goal, key moments in games tended to go against us. The hardest thing for the team was just to keep their heads and for us not to get frustrated about things and be patient and we knew it would turn and it has.”

Acknowledging the effort his side has put so far in the season, he said “This award is for myself as the coach but it’s because of their performances on the park so I appreciate their efforts greatly. Thanks very much to Red Lion Football and Queensland Soccer News for the award, it’s fantastic.”

April – Terry Kirkham (Peninsula Power)

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Congratulations to Terry Kirkham who is the Queensland Soccer News/Red Lion Football Coach of the Month for April from the Brisbane Premier League.

Kirkham won the award on the back of his Peninsula Power side picking up a draw against fellow top-four side Logan before wins against Capalaba and Rochedale.

In accepting his award, Kirkham reflected on the recognition of the playing and coaching staff, “It’s fantastic actually, I suppose it’s appreciation from your peers. We all put in a lot of hours, right through all the levels and it’s not every day that you get an award for what your team has done and I’m going to take this on behalf of all my players and all my coaching staff.”

March – Nick Croydon (Logan FC)

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Logan FC coach, Nick Croyden, has been named as the inaugural Queensland Soccer News (QSN) Coach of the Month from Brisbane’s Trophy Superstore Premier League.

The new award has been instituted by QSN in collaboration with Red Lion Football and Managing Director Graham Ross, who identified a need for greater recognition of coaches. The award is modelled along similar lines to the English Premier League Manager of the Month with performances from the Trophy Superstore Premier League being assessed by QSN to determine the monthly winner.

Croyden’s win for March is in recognition of his side claiming three wins from as many matches in the start to the season, with defeats against Capalaba, Ipswich Knights and Rochedale Rovers. Those results came on the back of good pre-season form for the Lightning where they made the semi-finals of the Silver Boot competition.

On receiving his trophy, Croyden reflected on the recognition, “It’s obviously a great honour and I’d like to thank Queensland Soccer News and Red Lion for sponsoring the award but certainly it’s a team award. We as a unit at Logan FC have numerous coaches that support the team in their roles and without those people, we don’t put the team together and most certainly the boys do the hard work on the game day. For the players and support staff, it’s recognition of all their efforts so far this season.”

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