Central FC and Play Whe San Juan Jabloteh respective head coaches, Zoran Vranes and Keith Jeffrey, lead the season with The Fan Club Coach of the Month awards.
Vranes, winner of this season’s First Citizens Cup and Rawle Fletcher Trophy, in only his first season at Central, won The Fan Club Coach of the Month awards for October/November and January, while Jeffrey, who led Jabloteh to the Toyota Classic, took the award for December.
Coaches are short-listed, based on statistics and all round performance of teams, or having the biggest impact within the month, with votes from a judging committee and the media pooled to decide the winner of the award for respective months.
The Fan Club, a sport merchandise and apparel outlet store, recently partnered with the TT Pro League on an initial two-year sponsorship agreement to reward the winning coaches, who will receive a TFC $1000 voucher and Coach of the Month trophy.
“I'm really glad [for the honour],” Vranes said. “…but it's thanks to my players and their performances. I also expect good results from them in the future, which will bring me more of these trophies [chuckles].
“But definitely, it's always a nice feeling when you are getting something like this, people recognising you as someone doing a key job. It's very nice to support all coaches, to push them up to work harder, to work better, for better football in this country.”
The 64-year-old Serbian said that while he is very appreciative of the support by the League and TFC, he hopes to see awards such as Player of the Match, Goalkeeper of the Match, and Goalkeeper Coach of the Month, to stimulate others to do their jobs in a better way.
Jeffrey, now in his second season at Jabloteh, also applauded the League and TFC, saying, “We have to thank the League and the sponsor for respecting the hard work of the coaches. I am really proud of the league for honouring the people who have been working behind the scenes.”
Under Jeffrey’s charge, Jabloteh defeated Point Fortin Civic 4-2 on penalties following a 1-1 tie in the Toyota Classic final to win the San Juan club’s first title in eight years.
“It's always good to be honored as a coach but also to compete in this League is an honour,” added Jeffrey. “Only into my second season as head coach and winning the Toyota Classic makes me feel good. A lot of people haven't done that yet and they have been in the League much longer. So I am proud of the achievement but I have to thank my staff, because without them it wasn't possible, and the players.”
Jeffrey said that success at this season’s Toyota Classic and other performances in the Digicel Pro League have attracted the return of San Juan supporters at Jabloteh matches. “It means they like what they see,” concluded the Jabloteh coach.