The FA has revealed its Groundsmen of the Year Awards which once again recognised the hard work contributed by groundsmen at a grass roots level, in ensuring that thousands of football matches can take place across the country every single week.
The awards are selected by a panel of six judges, all former groundsmen themselves, taking into account the quality of the pitch, the groundsman’s knowledge, resources available, how often the pitch is used and the amount of time they have available to work on the pitch.
The past season has seen some particularly tough conditions but groundsmen have worked hard to overcome these difficult circumstances.
"It was noted that despite the adverse winter weather, the standard of the pitches was well above the average,” said Maurice Armstrong, chairman of The FA’s Pitches and Facilities Committee.
“Groundsmen had a very difficult time in keeping the pitches to a reasonable standard and the judges took this into account when making their final decisions."
Rob Darby of Corinthian Casuals FC was this year's big winner scooping both the Isthmian League Award and Step 3 and 4 National Award.
“It was a surprise and an honour to win the Isthmian League and Steps 3 and 4 National awards this season; especially after such a challenging winter period when we really struggled to get games played.
“I am only able to work part-time at the ground and having seen the high standard of pitches throughout the league this season I’m really pleased to have been recognised in this way,” said Robert.
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