The All Flags State Premier League Final between Sorrento and Perth could also decide the fate of this year’s Coach of the Year award.
We have questioned for a number of years the criteria for Football West Coach of the Year award. To win the accolade the coaches are awarded points for where they finish in the league, the trophies that they win, and the finals that they make. A system that we believe does not reflect some excellent coaching achievements.
Who can forget two years ago Mike Lyons sitting bottom of the All Flags State Premier League at the half way point in the season when coach of Stirling Lions, but managing to turn the season around and actually making the finals. He did not even come close to picking up the coach of the year award despite a fantastic turnaround.
This season many tipped newly promoted Bayswater City to be a relegation favourite, yet coach Mauro Marchione defied the odds and had he not suffered injuries to key players could well have steered the club to the Finals in their first season back in the Premier League. Yet his outstanding season will again not see him close to being announced as coach of the year.
The interesting thing this season will be should Perth win the Grand Final who the award will go to, as it was in fact Ronnie Campbell who was subsequently dumped as coach, who steered them to the Donate Blood cup final, not his replacement, Gianfranco Circati. So the the question is should the latter gain the points for this achievement even though he was in charge on the day?
It certainly raises a few questions.
To our mind however the achievements of Paul Price at Sorrento in his first year in charge at the club should guarantee him the accolade. Many would say he was unfortunate in recent seasons having won the league with the Western Knights and also contested the Grand final and Night Series finals, despite losing these games.
It would appear that it will be between Price and possibly a Perth SC coach if the panel looks at the club’s achievements rather than the individual; hopefully the right decision will be announced on the night.
Looking to the future it would be good to see the points system abandoned and a panel of possibly ex Internationals appointed as judges, maybe Shaun Murphy, Stan Lazarides, Robbie Zabica, Scott Miller, Bobby Despotovski, Matt Horsley, Francis Burns, Ray Illot, Jason or Michael Petkovic or Peter Withe. All ex internationals living here in Perth, who have a great knowledge and whose involvement would do the game and the league credit.