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Jaffas coach shows his team the meaning
of teamwork and respect

This Northern NSW Football Coach of the Month was a role model to players and parents.

Tuesday, 17 April, 2018.

When Anne Molloy’s son first showed enthusiasm for playing football, she felt some anxiety about how his cerebral palsy would be accepted by clubs and players.

"We were apprehensive as our son has mild cerebral palsy, but he desperately wanted to play soccer," Anne said. 

But that was last year and now Dylan is back for his second season with the Lambton Jaffas Under 12s, thanks in large part to the work of his coach Stan Patiniotis. Anne said Stan had been an inspiration and role model that soon set her worries at ease.

"Stan took a group of kids that hadn’t played together before; he not only developed their on-field footy skills, he also taught them about the importance of teamwork and respect," she said. 

"Respect for each other, the other team, referees and their parents. Stan treated Dylan like every other player on the team. He gave him extra support without making it obvious and encouraged him every week. Dylan thoroughly enjoyed the season.

Newcastle coach of the month Stan Patinotis with some of his young players
Stan Patiniotis with his team.

For our family, the highlight came in the last game of the season when Stan gave Dylan the opportunity to play upfront and score a goal.

"It meant so much to Dylan and to us. One of the dads managed to capture the goal on video. The best part was Stan running onto the field to congratulate Dylan.

"It was just a wonderful end to a great season of soccer. It is really important for kids with disabilities to be included in their local sport. Dylan is playing again and has been lucky to get Stan as a coach again. Here’s to another great season. Sport isn’t about winning; it has the opportunity to teach kids so much more."

Those words from Anne were used in her nomination of Stan for the Newcastle Permanent Coach of the Month Award, which Stan accepted for March 2018 for the Newcastle Football Zone.

Northern NSW Football Community Football Manager Peter Haynes said Anne’s story about her son and the role played by Stan is one of many about inspiring coaches who play vital roles. 

"Football enriches character, intelligence, coordination and skill," Peter said. "A good coach is one of the most important elements in the football experience had by our players. It’s important that coaches like Stan Patiniotis continue to provide players at their club with safe and enjoyable sessions in order to develop a love for the game and continue to have the best football experience possible."

Each month, from March to August, NNSWF will run monthly awards for the Newcastle Permanent Community Award Recognition Program. This program gives people involved in football the opportunity to vote for a local coach, referee or club for outstanding work.

For details and to vote for your local hero or club, visit this webpage.

For a full list of the March Coach of the Month Winners, visit here.

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