Soccer coach Tony Novello

When the South West Phoenix under-14 side finished on top of the ladder in last year’s NPLWA competition, it wasn’t only the players that were winners – the coach also found himself in the spotlight.

Tony Novello’s efforts were officially recognised when he was announced the winner of the Wally Foreman Award at the South West Academy of Sport’s annual awards night in December.

The prestigious accolade is bestowed to just one outstanding South West coach each year.

Novello, who also assists with the South West Phoenix league team and has been a past president and coach of the Dynamos, said he wanted to share the honour.

“I might have the trophy, but I definitely would like to share it with Garry McAneny, who is my assistant,” he said.

“We are a great team and he was a big influence in the team.”

Novello, who also thanked Jen Curtis and parents who volunteer, said that as a coach, he stands for standards, attitude and commitment – and expects his players to do the same.

“If they have these three qualities and they work hard, then they are going to have fun,” Novello said.

“I say to them before a game starts, ‘let’s have fun, guys. Go out there and have fun’.”

Novello said he was looking forward to the new season and taking the team – including its new additions – into the under-15 competition, and thanked the South West Phoenix Football Club for its support.