Wyndham Town football coach Carl Lambert says he is fortunate to have been able to learn from some great role models.
The Menzies College teacher was recently named Southland Football coach of the year.
In the almost 30 years he has been coaching he has worked at many levels including representative, senior, school and junior.
He has been coaching the Wyndham women’s team since 2017.
Lambert said the opportunity to work with people such as former All Whites coach Ricki Herbert, former Wellington Phoenix coach Des Buckingham and Football South women’s development officer Tessa Nicol had been invaluable in his coaching career.
“Getting feedback from people who have a lot more experience than you do helps you identify areas of improvement,
“I’ve been very lucky because I’ve been able to work with a lot of talented people and a lot of talented players.”
Sometimes those opportunities had come because he had been in “the right place at the right time”.
“I’ve just been very lucky and it is very humbling to receive the award.
“It was a very big surprise on the night.”
Coaching was similar to teaching in that every group of people usually had a range of abilities.
“It’s not very often you get a set of perfect players.
The challenge was being able to “connect with all of them and try and get them going in the same direction”.
He started coaching girls’ football at Menzies College about 12 years ago when the school had not had a team for a long time, and enjoyed the experience.
“They want to learn and it’s always great to work with players who want to learn.”
The governing body ran courses at a community and advanced level which Lambert regularly attended.
“I’m always looking at things to try and see if there’s anything new or something that I can try and incorporate into what I do or change.
The aim of the award was to recognise coaches who were contributing to the game not necessarily coaching winning teams, he said.
“It’s great recognition more for the work that you do.
“It’s [also] about coaches that don’t get paid for it.”