Rob Sheehan honoured for years of service to Alstonville FC
WHEN it comes to dedication, Alstonville FC's Rob Sheehan is your man.
In a 15-year spell with the club he has served as player, committee member and successful coach, helping develop the talents of scores of soccer-mad juniors.
While delighted with his award, Sheehan said the real reward was the mates he had made in his long association with the club.
"It is more than just the football," he said.
"Probably the best thing is making good friends over the years.
"I keep in touch with a lot of people, even those I don't see any more or who have moved away.
"I'm a little bit surprised by the award, but very happy with it."
Sheehan developed a love for the sport in his native Newcastle, representing Northern New South Wales junior sides.
After moving to Alstonville, he joined Villa and played for a few years in different grades.
He became a key member of the club, serving as president and receiving a life membership award in 2007.
Sheehan has also become a much-respected coach, introducing goalkeeping training to the club.
He has become more renowned as coach of the club's hugely successful girls training program over the past few years.
The club has dominated the FNC women's premier division competition in recent season, with a handful of players also graduating to the highly competitive Gold Coast competition.
"Seeing the girls that I coached for a few years come through and have success has been very satisfying," he said.
"I also really like how Alstonville has evolved as a club.
"Everything is going forward."
Sheehan also said it was important to celebrate the achievements of all of the sport's FNC unsung heroes.
"There are so many people in this area who help football in this region," he said.
"I am sure they will get recognised. It is a nice honour."