Groundsman of the Year Award Winners Announced

Staffordshire FA, in conjunction with The Football Association, have once again coordinated the FA Groundsman of the Year Awards in Staffordshire, for all clubs/organisations operating at Step 7 and below of the football pyramid.

Groundsmen at this level of the game are nearly all volunteers who give up countless hours of their time to provide the best pitches possible with limited resources, equipment and budgets. The Groundsman of the Year Awards are a great opportunity for these volunteer be recognised locally.

The Staffordshire FA judging panel visited the clubs/organisations shortlisted and used a set of marking criteria which takes into account the club’s resources, equipment, budget, pitch usage, and the individual challenges faced by each groundsman. 
Following on from the nomination process and the subsequent site visits which took place at numerous football clubs across Staffordshire, we are pleased to be able to confirm the results of the Staffordshire FA Groundsman of the Year Awards for the 2018/19 season.

Place  Groundsman  Club/Organisation 
1st Place  Andy Salt  Trubshaw Cross Playing Fields 
2nd Place  Chris Burton  Hawkins Sports FC 
3rd Place  Steve Mullock  Knutton Community FC 
Most Improved Pitch  Danny Robinson  Redgate Clayton FC 
Highly Commended  George Lowe  Chesterton AFC 
Highly Commended  Wayne Smith & Brian Finney  Audley FC 

Gareth Thomas, the Pitch Improvement Programme lead at Staffordshire FA, commented: “It is fair to say that this year’s judging process was undoubtedly the toughest in recent years, with incredibly high standards being set at all of the above sites – particularly in light of the challenges groundsmen faced at the start of the season off the back of the driest summer we’ve had in decades. It is great credit to all of the groundsman we visited that they’ve overcome those challenges and ensured that very few games have been postponed during 2018/19 – preparing some excellent playing surfaces in the process.”
“On behalf of the judging panel and everyone involved in the Staffordshire FA Pitch Improvement Programme, many congratulations to those listed above and a huge thank you to all of the groundsmen we visited for all of your ongoing hard work and dedication maintaining your respective pitch/pitches to a very high standard. Hopefully your players, spectators, parents and club officials, all appreciate the countless number of hours which go into producing the excellent surfaces you produce for them on a weekly basis.”

This year’s awards have been supported by Rigby Taylor – the UK’s leading supplier of products for the improvement, maintenance and construction of sports, amenity and landscape areas. Rigby Taylor’s support with the awards have included a free bag of Rigby Taylor R41 100% Perennial Ryegrass Blend Grass Seed for all of the shortlisted clubs, along with a free Rigby Taylor line marking machine and line marking paint for the award winner.

Find out more about Rigby Taylor by visiting