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Hickmott pays tribute to former colleague

Nathan Schmook, AFL.com.au  March 16, 2017 12:00 PM

AFL 2016 Rd 12 - West Coast v Adelaide

West Coast midfield coach Adrian Hickmott was announced as the winner of the 2017 Phil Walsh Memorial Scholarship today

West Coast midfield coach Adrian Hickmott has paid tribute to the late Phil Walsh after being awarded the 2017 scholarship named in honour of the former Adelaide coach.

Hickmott was announced as the winner of the $10,000 grant at the AFL Coaches Association's annual general meeting in Melbourne on Thursday.

The scholarship, which honours the legacy of Walsh by aiding the recipient's professional development, was introduced in 2016, with Richmond assistant Ben Rutten the inaugural winner.

This year's scholarship was voted on by past AFL coaches David Parkin, Paul Roos, Mark Williams and Neale Daniher, with Port Adelaide assistant Aaron Greaves runner-up for the second straight year by one vote.

Hickmott, who coached alongside Walsh at West Coast in 2012 and 2013 and played under him in his early career at Geelong, said Walsh had made a significant impact on his own coaching.

"Phil was always excited, he was always about teaching and educating others and doing it with passion, so it's an honour to receive this scholarship," Hickmott told AFL.com.au.

"He really had a vision about being the best he could, and he always acted on what he said, so I thank the AFLCA for the scholarship and I'll make sure I use it wisely and get the most out of it to help others."

After two seasons as the Eagles' backline development coach in 2012 and 2013, Hickmott was elevated to a line coach in Adam Simpson's team.

He is completing a masters of sports coaching at the University of Queensland and said he planned to use the $10,000 grant to fnish his studies and travel overseas to further his knowledge by visiting international sporting clubs.

The 44-year-old retired at the end of 2003 after 184 games with Geelong and Carlton, immediately pursuing coaching at amateur and junior levels while working as a shearer.

He re-entered the AFL system with Essendon in 2010 as an assistant and development coach and said senior coaching was something he might pursue. 

"My vision was to play AFL footy and then coach at the highest level … whatever that highest level is I'm yet to find out," he said.

All AFLCA members are invited to apply for the Phil Walsh Memorial Scholarship, with a panel then voting to determine the winner.

Walsh died tragically in July 2015 and will be honoured by the AFLCA on the eve of each season through the scholarship.