VU Western Spurs premiership coach Christina Polatajko claimed the Peta Searle Female Coach of the Year at the 2019 AFL Victoria Community Football Awards.
The award ceremony, which was held on Friday October 18, is an amalgamation of the traditional Australian Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Awards.
Polatajko claimed the 2019 Northern AFCA Coach of the Year at the 2019 Rosbrook Medal Night in September and was one of four coaches shortlisted for the Peta Searle Female Coach of the Year.
She claimed the award from Sophia Ikosidekas (Beverley Hills), Jessie Mount (East Brighton) and Hanna Sparks (Glenroy).
Polatajko this year steered VU Western Spurs to premiership success in the NFNL’s Division 1 Women’s competition.
The Spurs were the clear standout side throughout the 2019 campaign and went through the season undefeated, winning their 14 matches by an average margin of 63 points.
It was the second time Polatajko has coached a side to premiership success in the NFNL after also guiding the Spurs to the Division 2 flag in 2017.
Among the attributes that were recognised in her nomination for the Coach of the Year award were:
• Has motivated players to not only be great teammates but develop their football. No matter their backgrounds, there are no exceptions.
• Main focus is for everyone to enjoy playing the game.
• Has made sure players always check in with each other weekly as a playing group.
• Really cares about all players within the club, not just those in her side.
• Promoted the need for continuous improvement within the club, which included 360-degree feedback, which she encouraged and took on.
• Has the ability to connect with her team on an individual level, as well as a group level. The team members wanted to win for her as much as they wanted to win for themselves and each other.
• Has close relationships with her assistant coach, runner and trainers – ensuring everyone is on the same page and contributing to the success of the team and club.