Hunter Valley Football has announced it annual awards with the heart and soul of Thornton Junior FC and a Clarence Town coach who blended a group of boys and girls into an unbeaten team who play to have fun among the recipients.
Thornton Junior FC's Kristen Birkett has been named Hunter Valley Football's Newcastle Permanent 2021 Volunteer of the Year.
Kristen is described as the heart and soul of Thornton Junior FC.
In announcing the award Hunter Valley Football said how well the club is organised and structured as well as people being made to feel welcome and included is all due to Kristen's hard work and dedication.
The club secretary spends countless hours working on all aspects of running the club and is always available to help and assist with questions or problems.
Week in, week out Thornton Junior FC's 38 teams run like clockwork thanks to Kristen's commitment.
"Finding volunteers as enthusiastic and selfless as Kristen is the goal for all sporting clubs across Australia," NNSWF community football manager Ross Hicks said.
"Her contribution has been key in the club's sustained success and it is satisfying to be able to acknowledge the effort and hard work Kristen has provided Thornton Junior FC over the years."
Clarence Town FC under-12 coach Andrew Flannery was named the 2021 coach of the year for his efforts in bringing together a team made up of under-11s and 12s children including six girls, some having never played before.
They did not lose a game this season. But it is not about winning, it is about having fun and all the kids in the team leave with a smile on their face and they all love it.
Jackson Stewart was named 2021 Hunter Valley Football's Newcastle Permanent 2021 Volunteer of the Year.