Fabish shares in honours
MUTUAL respect is something Jim Fabish demands from his players and in turn he guides their pathways from boys to men.
Fabish said he was surprised and honoured at being named the Senior Sportsman of the Year on Tuesday at the Emerald/Gemfields Australia Day awards ceremony.
"It is pretty special, there are obviously people out there who appreciate what I am doing, so I am pretty honoured," he said.
"I was very surprised about the whole thing.
"We almost didn't make it to the ceremony, but it certainly makes me proud to be recognised. I have coached my boys for a number of years now and there is a lot of respect that goes both ways. The boys as players and me as a coach, we respect each other.
"I only want the best for those boys, I want success for all of them not just individuals and I think that goes a long way."
Despite being a proud Kiwi Fabish ensures his love incorporates both countries.
"It means the same, I sing the Australian national anthem just as loudly as the New Zealand one .. but I do cheer most for the All Blacks," he said.
Marist College under-15s success, back-back-back Brothers White premiers, a Ballymore Cup final and a New Zealand tour - Fabish and his all-conquering teams had him struggling for a highlight.
"I can't pick really, we've won so much," he said.
"If anything, the trip to New Zealand was probably the highlight - it was the first time we went and achieved such amazing success."
Fabish began his coaching career with the Emerald Rams in 2000 once his playing days as a tough tackling flanker were over.
With so many incredible coaches in both games, there were unlimited sources of inspiration.
"I coached the Rams and the Emerald women's team 16 years ago," he said.
"I had a little break in between but I have coached every year since 2008.
"There are all sorts of great coaches out there. Wayne Bennett is a superstar. Anything you see him doing you take note, and he likes to have fun and draw on the player's love of the game.
"All of the All Blacks coaches are up there - Graeme Henry is probably the best. I also really like Michael Cheika. He did an amazing job last year. He is a little out there but I like that in a coach."