'I felt humbled': Huge honour for dedicated coach
AUSSIE RULES: Michael Rose from The Cathedral College has been named AFL Queensland's secondary school ambassador of the year.
The inspirational teacher and coach admits he was overwhelmed to receive the honour at a recent ceremony in Brisbane.
There are 715 primary and secondary school ambassadors across Queensland and northern New South Wales.
"I didn't realise just how big an award it was until I went down there,” Rose said.
"It was great to receive it but I was surprised.
"I never really thought about getting an award for something I love doing but when I did I felt humbled to receive some recognition for what I do.”
Rose was also nominated for the student choice award, while TCC's Patrick O'Shaughnessy was nominated for the contribution to female participation award.
Rose received the award for his contribution to the development and promotion of AFL, which started with his appointment at TCC in 2012.
He coaches the school's AFL Queensland Schools Cup senior female and junior male teams, and is assistant coach of the senior male and junior female teams.
His knowledge of the game and his ability to bring the best out in his charges resulted in TCC's senior female team finishing runners-up in the AFL QSC competition last year.
They look set for similar success this season, having already made the top four in Queensland, with the finals to be played in October.
Rose's passion for AFL, a game he started playing at age 13, also extends to club football.
He coached the Brothers A-grade men to the finals series this season after the team had languished at the bottom of the AFL Capricornia ladder for the past three years.
His involvement at club level allowed him to transition nine male students and 12 female students from TCC into the local senior competition.
Rose decided to focus his energies on coaching after recurring injuries cut short his playing career.
He said he got most reward from seeing his players develop on and off the field as a result of their involvement in AFL.
The emergence of TCC's senior female side as a force in the state-wide comp had also been very satisfying.
"Seeing the girls thrive in an environment where they can showcase their skill and demonstrate their athletic ability is something really special,” he said.
"What has really pushed me is their enthusiasm. They're all so keen and they've come back again this year.
"We've had 30-plus girls at training every session; that's the sort of attendance most clubs would hope for with their A-grade teams.”
Rose was quick to acknowledge his fiance Greta Meehan, a wonderful support and trusted adviser who also loves AFL and is a mad-keen Adelaide Crows fan.
As part of his award, Rose received an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Melbourne for the first round of the AFL finals.
He and Greta will be at the MCG on Friday night, rubbing shoulders with some of the game's big names, as they watch the second qualifying final between Geelong and Richmond.
"This is a really good cap to the year,” Rose said.
"The best part is Greta can come with me because, behind the scenes, she's been a big part of it all.”