Crystal Brook football trainer Michael Fogarty wants others to follow his award-winning footsteps

HONOUR: Michael Fogarty, centre, accepts his award as last year's AFL Volunteer of the Year in South Australia from David Shipway AM, left, and Statewide Super chief executive officer Richard Nunn. Photo: Deb Curtis
HONOUR: Michael Fogarty, centre, accepts his award as last year's AFL Volunteer of the Year in South Australia from David Shipway AM, left, and Statewide Super chief executive officer Richard Nunn. Photo: Deb Curtis

Michael Fogarty has experienced the Holy Grail and wants other football volunteers to taste similar success.

Mr Fogarty was last year named SANFL Statewide Super Volunteer of the Year for his long career with Crystal Brook Football Club.

He was a special guest as South Australia's AFL Volunteer at the AFL Grand Final in Melbourne and took part in the Grand Final Parade the day before the big match.

Now, he is spreading the word - more nominations are needed for volunteers to win this year's award.

"It is a humbling and great experience to win the award," he said.

"I was named AFL Volunteer of the Year at the Magarey Medal count at Adelaide Oval last season. I had the chance to go to Melbourne with all of the state winners.

"I was also entertained before the SANFL Grand Final and watched it from the box with Crystal Brook Football Club president Ian Lambert.

"I took my son Christopher to the AFL Grand Final. There was a dinner for the state volunteer nominees through the SANFL to recognise people who have done a lot. Port Pirie teacher Andrew Congdon was there.

"Six contestants vied for the SA volunteer award. I received the David Shipway AM Medal.

"As 2018 AFL Volunteer of the Year I received a certificate for my contribution to football. It was a great experience, unforgettable. I got to sit in a big tent with fellow volunteers before the pre-match entertainment at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

"I would encourage clubs to put their nominations in. There are worthy winners out there who have probably done more than I have done."

Mr Fogarty spent 25 years working for the Roosters including coaching the minis and junior colts, being a trainer for 24 years, serving as president, committeeman and Northern Areas Football Association delegate and patron and volunteering as a zone trainer at the South Australian Country Football Championships - including at the titles in Port Pirie next month.

As part of his award, he will be a guest in the Statewide Super box to watch Port Adelaide play Western Bulldogs at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, June 22.

He will take along his Down syndrome son Mickey who is also an avid Crystal Brook Roosters fan.

The Volunteer of the Year campaign recognises thousands of volunteers who go above and beyond for football. Mr Fogarty is among 209,000 volunteers who support 1.6 million participants at NAB AFL Auskick centres, community centres and leagues.

Unforgettable

MIchael Fogarty

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