Edge named VFL Coach of the Year

Footscray head coach Stewart Edge has been recognised as VFL Coach of the Year.

Footscray head coach Stewart Edge has been recognised as VFL Coach of the Year.

Edge led the Bulldogs to a minor premiership in his debut season at the helm, after finishing the COVID-affected season undefeated with an average winning margin of 40 points.

Accepting his award via Zoom on Thursday night, Edge said one of the most rewarding things about coaching is helping players reach their goals. 

"The opportunity to see young guys emerging - it's always a great thing when you see players go from being a fresh-faced draftee to cutting their teeth to varying degrees in VFL, and then consolidating at AFL level," Edge said.

"I'm very lucky - Luke Beveridge creates such a high priority for this pathway and our players, and that's supported right through the club."

He also praised his players - and all of those in the VFL system - who have had to deal with COVID-interrupted seasons over the last two years. 

"Our heart goes out to all the guys who are ambitious and have their own individual aspirations - 2020 and 2021 are the years they would have been (their) time to push for recognition and perhaps get drafted," Edge said.

"We've got massive admiration for our players, and everyone else out there. When we were in hold a couple of times - (our guys) were training in isolation with the hopes that finals would get underway. It was a huge commitment."

Gun midfielder Robbie McComb was also recognised for his standout season, named at ruck rover in the VFL Team of the Year.

Having not missed a match, the 25-year-old averaged 25.5 disposals, 4.7 tackles and 4.6 marks to go with five goals.

The acknowledgment comes after he was recently crowned Footscray’s best and fairest player.

In other awards announced on the night, Williamstown’s Charlie Dean claimed the Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal, while Essendon VFLW’s Georgia Nanscawen took out the Lambert-Pearce Medal.

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