GREG Bartlett was surprised when named the Northern NSW Football volunteer of the month on Saturday night.
The Tamworth FC manager and media man was floored when awarded the NNSWF Volunteer of the Year at the annual Northern Inland Football Awards dinner at Wests Diggers.
The Tamworth builder was going to “call it quits” this year but was having second thoughts Saturday afternoon after helping manage the Southern Conference Rising Stars and All Stars teams.
“It was going to be my last year,” Bartlett said.
“Josh (son) is going to uni so I thought that I’d finish but I might have to continue now.”
He said mending Tamworth FC after its inglorious finish to 2014 wasn’t easy.
“We did have a lot of real hard work to do.
“When we played away we tried to go back to everybody’s watering hole and give them support.
“We’ve tried to be a better member of the football community.”
That included sending their players to referee and coach at junior level.
There was also the Dan Haslam Cup, an initiative between FC and North Companions to honour the memory of the late Dan Haslam and support the fight to have cannabis legalised for cancer sufferers.
Bartlett was heavily involved in that as well as supporting first grade coach Darryl Smith.
“I’m not sure what Darryl’s doing next year,” he added.
“But he’s done an amazing job with them.
“We had a few little hiccups towards the end.
“Injuries at the wrong time of the year but every club has to put up with that.”
He thanked the Northern Inland Football (NIF) and NNSWF for his award as well as praising outgoing NIF GM Steve Griffith.
“He’s done a great job too,” he said.
“I was thrown in at the deep end at the start of the year but Steve helped me throughout.”
NIF chairman Tim Coates was full of praise for Bartlett.
“Greg was a big contributor,’ Coates said.
“He and Tamworth FC have done an enormous amount of good for the sport this year.
“Steve also deserved his Service to Football Award too.
“It was also good to see Inverell Joeys win the Fair Play Award.
“It was just a good night for football,” he said after his club, Oxley Vale Attunga, received the club of the year and he was deemed to be coach of the year.
“That was a surprise,” he said.