HARROW-BALMORAL coach Nick Pekin has been named as a finalist in the Australian Football Coaches Association senior Victorian coach of the year.
He is one of four coaches to be in the running for the award.
Pekin has had a stellar season in his first year in charge of the Southern Roos.
Pekin was assistant coach in 2017 to Paul Cleaver before taking the top job this year.
He helped guide the Southern Roos to the Horsham District league senior flag, claimed the league’s best and fairest medal and a club best and fairest.
He also coached the Horsham District interleague side.
Pekin said the people around him at the club makes his job a lot easier.
“It’s a bit of a surprise but I will certainly take it,” he said.
“I’m surrounded by a lot of support. It starts off at the top with the president Rosemary Langley and then my bench coach Brent Penny.
“I have two great assistants in Simon Close and Hamish Ellis and they have helped immensely. It allows me to focus on being an on-field leader.”
This season was Pekin’s first premiership as a coach. Before joining the Southern Roos, he coached at Horsham Demons alongside Brad Hartigan.
“I try to lead from the front and describe my words through my actions,” he said.
“I have gotten a lot better with the talk but when I first started out it was hard. It comes more naturally now and every game and every quarter is different.
“I never won a flag as a coach at Horsham and it was a goal of mine to achieve that and I’ve done that now.”
Great Western’s Will Bell has also been named as one of the four finalists, with North Heidelberg’s James House and Nathalia’s Craig Kellow making up the four.
The award will be handed out at a presentation night in Melbourne on November 9.