It’s less than a month until the AFL season resumes, and the attention is about to start hotting up.
Brisbane’s meteoric rise to second spot on the ladder at the end of the home-and-away season has seen Chris Fagan named the AFL Coaches Association’s senior coach of the year.
The Lions collected the wooden spoon in Fagan’s first season in charge and improved slightly to 15th last year before their stunning 16-6 season helped them to this year’s preliminary final where they were defeated by Richmond.
Fagan took out the award, voted on by fellow senior coaches and assistants, ahead of grand final coaches Leon Cameron (GWS) in second and Damien Hardwick (Richmond) in third.
“It’s a real privilege to be acknowledged by your peers and it’s a good reflection on our footy club and all of the work that the other coaches do,” Fagan told Fox Footy’s AFL 360 shortly after receiving the award at a ceremony in Melbourne on Tuesday night.
“The coaching of an AFL team is a team exercise, it’s not down to one individual.”
The Tigers’ Craig McRae was named the assistant coach of the year after he guided his side to a win over Williamstown in the VFL grand final.
Geelong’s Nigel Lappin and Sydney’s Dean Cox were second and third respectively.
In a tribute to Neale Daniher, the AFLCA’s lifetime achievement award was named after the former Melbourne coach and motor neurone disease campaigner.
Widely-respected Geelong recruiter Stephen Wells received the lifetime achievement honour for his outstanding work in identifying young footballing talent for over two decades.
Fox Footy and SEN broadcaster Gerard Whateley received the association’s media award for a remarkable sixth year in a row.