Results Confirmed for Staffordshire FA Groundsman of the Year Awards 2019/20

Earlier this year Staffordshire FA, in conjunction with The Football Association, coordinated the annual FA Groundsman of the Year Awards, for all clubs and organisations across the county 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 – often with very limited time, resources, equipment and budgets. The annual Groundsmen of the Year Awards are a great opportunity for these clubs and individuals to be recognised locally.

The Staffordshire FA judging panel visited the shortlisted sites and used a set of marking criteria which considers the club’s resources, equipment, budget, pitch usage and the individual challenges faced by each groundsman and their respective sites. 
Following on from the nomination process and the subsequent site visits which took place across Staffordshire, we are pleased to be able to confirm the results of the Staffordshire FA Groundsman of the Year Awards for the 2019/20 season.

Place  Groundsman  Club/Organisation 
1st place  Dave Lunt  Silverdale Athletic FC 
2nd place  Andy Salt  Trubshaw Cross Ladsanddads 
3rd place  Stuart Cresswell  Eccleshall Eagles FC 
Highly Commended  Wayne Smith & Brian Finney  Audley FC 
Highly Commended Danny Robinson  Redgate Clayton FC 

Gareth Thomas of Staffordshire FA commented: “The judging process was once again incredibly difficult with some very high standards being set at the sites we visited – particularly in light of the challenges groundsmen have faced this season with the record-breaking amount of rainfall we have received over the Autumn and Winter months. It is great credit to all groundsmen that they have overcome those challenges and ensured as few postponements as possible – and prepared 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 grounds persons across Staffordshire for your ongoing hard work and dedication maintaining your respective pitches to very high standards. Hopefully players, spectators, parents and club officials appreciate the countless number of hours which go into maintaining playing surfaces throughout the season.” 

This year’s awards have once again 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 the shortlisted clubs, along with a free Rigby Taylor line marking machine and paint for the award winner. 

Guidance on interim works for your football pitches

During this Covid-19 outbreak, the Grounds Management Association (formerly known as the IOG) have produced some useful guidance for maintaining football pitches during this interim period, whilst no football is being played. That advice and guidance can be accessed via the link below.