Local legend beats field of 42 to be named Community Coach of the Year

THE MCC football club's Rebecca Ticli has been named the 2021 BHP Community Coach of the Year.

Ticli is currently co-head coach at MCC, playing in the VAFA competition in metropolitan Melbourne, and has had previous coaching roles at Melbourne Uni, NAB League side Oakleigh Chargers and East Brighton. She has also participated in Collingwood's AFLW coaching mentoring program.

She beat out a field of 42 community coaches, with the award open for junior, youth girls or senior women's coaches who have current accreditation and have demonstrated exceptional support of women's football and gender equality.

MCC co-head coach Rebecca Ticli. Picture: Supplied

Away from football, Ticli is head of sport at Star of the Sea girls' secondary college.

"It is an honour that I didn’t expect, I didn’t even know I was nominated," Ticli said.

"I am really proud because it reflects the hard work and effort that was put into this season, and it’s a credit to that work because it shows that the culture is strong at the MCC and that we’re building something that can go into the future."

Ticli has a playing background, having first picked up a footy in earnest with the St Kilda Sharks around 2010.

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"In my first year at the Sharks, I had just started training and did my knee, so I wasn’t able to play. It provided me the opportunity to act as support staff to coach, which gave me an insight into what I might be able to do after I finished playing, so that’s where my first interest in coaching was piqued," Ticli said.

"When I was coaching a Star of the Sea team, an umpire from the South Metro Junior Football League came up to me and said they were looking for some female coaches at East Brighton, and then I got convinced to do it and really loved it.

"The next year I got the opportunity to go to Melbourne Uni, which was great, before I returned to East Brighton."

One of the MCC players who nominated Ticli for the award said the coach supported the team and was always looking to develop her knowledge.

"Over the last couple of years, as an individual and as a coach, Bec has proactively taken steps to educate herself on what motivates people, the issues that matter to those people and how she can be an active and evolving part of improving and developing those people in a safe and welcoming environment," the nomination said.

"Despite being hugely successful as a player herself and now as a coach and teacher, she continues to be humble and embrace any opportunity to learn and grow as a person."