Football Queensland (FQ) and NAB are pleased to announce Paul Knight of Samford Rangers FC as the winner of the NAB Volunteer of the Month award for June.
Knight is a volunteer coach for the Samford Rangers U9 Roar ALDI MiniRoos team, who he has coached for the past three seasons.
He recently returned to playing himself, pulling on the boots for Rangers’ Over 35s Division 4 team – the first time he’s played since he was 11-years-old.
Knight is loved by both his young players and their parents, who have recognised his dedication to making sure all his players achieve their best while having fun.
Samford Rangers U9 parent Bradley Stock nominated Knight to NAB’s Academy of Awesome for his ability to inspire and encourage his players, as well as make the parents feel like a welcome part of the team.
“Paul’s pep talks before games, at half time and after the game are legendary,” he said.
“He has an amazing attitude, skill and energy and every week he turns up early with a smile on his face and an infectious positive attitude.
“He’s a blessing to the entire team and a brilliant role model for coaches, referees and parents alike.”
Samford Rangers U9 parent Jason Bow agreed, saying Knight has fostered a great sense of team camaraderie.
“Paul’s passion and commitment to the team is nothing short of amazing,” he said.
“He has the ability to inspire and motivate the team, while developing skills that encourage both teamwork and individual brilliance.
“He does all this with significant respect for his players, parents, officials and opposing teams.”
Knight is equally popular with his young U9 ALDI MiniRoos players, who have retained the skills they’ve been taught and effectively implemented them in their games under his guidance.
As a result, his team has improved from week to week and is achieving success on the field.
“They are wonderful kids to coach, we are like a family,” Knight said.
“It is more than just football. I encourage the kids to express their natural talents, play with flair and enjoy the game, teach them to never give up and always show respect and to shake hands with the opposition win, lose or draw.”
Knight, who uses Football Federation Australia’s (FFA) National Curriculum and YouTube videos of drills from England and Brazil for inspiration, thanked those around him for their support.
“I also have great support from the team manager Janna Roop and assistant coaches Lance Webb and Larry Ellis,” he said,
“I couldn’t do this without them and the support of the parents.
“I have also had strong on-the-ground support from Samford Rangers’ technical development team.”