Werribee Football Club chief executive Mark Penaluna has ended the year on a high by winning the Committee for Wyndham’s 2018 John Nicol Community Service Award.

Mr Penaluna, who was one of the driving forces behind the $11.75 million redevelopment of Werribee’s Chirnside Park, is the fourth winner of the award, which is given for exceptional community service.

Mr Penaluna grew up in Port Melbourne before making Wyndham home in 1992. In 1999, he became the general manager of the now Western Region Football League before taking over at the Werribee Football Club in 2003.

Committee for Wyndham chair Peter Mayall said Mr Penaluna was a worthy recipient.

“Mark’s contribution to Wyndham over many years is significant,” Mr Mayall said. “He continues this work – not only through his role at the Werribee Football Club, but with other community organisations and committees.

“The work that Mark undertook with John Nicol on the vision and redevelopment of Chirnside Park makes it appropriate that he has been given an award named after the person who shared the same community spirit.”

Mr Penaluna said he was surprised by the accolade.

He said moving away from partnership with North Melbourne Football Club had been a financial challenge.

“We’re doing our best to make sure that we manage ourselves appropriately and, hopefully, the people of the city can get behind us,” he said.

The club is working towards hosting an AFL women’s match at Chirnside Park next year and an AFL JLT match.