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STAFFORDSHIRE HEROES RECOGNISED AT COUNTY AWARDS

Staffordshire FA's 2017 FA Community Awards has taken place with 15 awards presented to deserving grassroots heroes.

Friday 23rd June saw Staffordshire FA host their annual FA Community Awards evening Stoke City's Bet365 Stadium as the County FA celebrated the hard work and dedication of volunteers in grassroots football across the County.

The evening was hosted by Stoke City presenter Steve Buxton from Prem Management as over 40 volunteers from the grassroots community came together in order to recognise and celebrate the fantastic voluntary service that takes place across the county.

The awards also complemented the presentation of the FA Groundsman of the Year awards which takes place annually across the country.

Staffordshire FA Chief Executive Officer, Adam Evans said "I think it is fantastic that we as a County FA are able to bring together a host of people from across the grassroots workforce in order to celebrate and reward some of the inspirational work that has taken place over the last season. It gives us the opportunity to say thank you to those people who make a difference to football in their local community and who dedicate their time to developing grassroots football.

"It was great to be able to reward Clubs, Leagues and Volunteers from across the County for their hard work and continued dedication to the game. Volunteers form the backbone of everything that we do and all of the nominees are a credit to the game in Staffordshire and their respective Clubs or Leagues.”

With a number of new categories for the 2016/17 season and this year's winners were as follows:
People's Choice Award (Outstanding Contribution to Community Football) – Tracy Wright (Eastwood Hanley FC)
The FA Charter Standard Community Club Award – Wyrley Juniors FC
The FA Charter Standard Development Club Award – HDFC
The FA Charter Standard Club Award – Kidsgrove Athletic FC
The FA Charter Standard League Award – Walsall Junior Youth League
Coach of the Year - Mark Smith Park (Bilbrook Juniors FC) 
Young Volunteer of the Year Award – Paige Snape (Chasetown FC & SFA Youth Council)
Best Inclusive Project - Staffordshire Ladies Over 30's League 
FA Groundsman of the Year 2017 at Step 7 and Below – John Whiteman (Abbey Hulton FC)

Highly commended nominees from the evening were as follows:
People's Choice Award (Outstanding Contribution to Community Football) - Denise Frankham (Bilston Town CFC)
The FA Charter Standard Club Award – Phoenix Rangers FC
The FA Charter Standard League Award – Staffordshire County Senior League
Coach of the Year - Nick Moore (Keele University)
FA Groundsman of the Year 2017 at Step 7 and Below – Chris Burton (Hawkins Sports FC) & Roger Ibbs (AC Milton)

The awards evening also saw the presentation of 2 Regional Awards. Wyrley Juniors FC and the Walsall Junior Youth League were presented with awards for Regional Charter Standard Community Club of the Year and Regional Charter Standard League of the Year. These awards were decided from a host of nominees in the North West of the country including nominations from Cheshire, Liverpool, Manchester and Lancashire.

The FA Community Awards aim to recognise and reward those involved in grassroots football from across the county who make a real difference to how the game is played and developed. The awards take place every year and Staffordshire FA are already looking forward to celebrating Clubs, Leagues, and Volunteers successes over the 2017/18 season. Nominations open in February each year and can be made via the Staffordshire FA website.

Staffordshire FA would like to wish everybody the best of luck for coming season, and would also like to remind the Staffordshire football community that they are always willing to help and support Clubs, Leagues and Volunteers wherever possible.