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Football League Groundsman of year won by Middlesborough, Preston North End and Fleetwood

Head groundsmen at Middlesborough, Preston North End and Fleetwood have taken the divisional honours in this season's Groundsmen of the Year awards.

The awards were set up to recognise the importance of the quality of pitches for professional football and acknowledge the head groundsmen and their staff who produce the best playing surfaces.

Though this season has been mild exceptionally high winter rainfall experienced throughout the country provided a challenge for grounds staff at clubs

The Football League’s Groundsman of the Year Awards are determined initially using marks from referees and away managers for each Sky Bet Football League game and are then followed by detailed pitch inspections and a review of management operations.

These visits were carried out in April by Dr Stephen Baker, Head of Sports Surface Technology at the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI).

In the Championship, Middlesbrough's Tony Bell has been named the best groundsman while Bolton Wanderers' Richard Norton was highly commended for a second successive year.

Dave Butler of Queens Park Rangers was also highly commended.

Preston North End’s Pete Ashworth has won the Groundsman of the Year Award in League One.

Craig Richardson and David Fellowes, of Bristol City and Rotherham United respectively were also highly commended for the award.

League Two’s top prize has been handed to Fleetwood Town's Dale Firth.

Hartlepool United's David Brown and Plymouth Argyle's Billy White were highly commended.


Winner: Tony Bell (Middlesbrough)

Highly Commended: Richard Norton (Bolton Wanderers)

Highly Commended: Dave Butler (Queens Park Rangers)

League One

Winner: Pete Ashworth (Preston North End)

Highly Commended: Craig Richardson (Bristol City)

Highly Commended: David Fellowes (Rotherham United)

League Two

Winner: Dale Frith (Fleetwood Town)

Highly Commended: David Brown (Hartlepool United)

Highly Commended: Billy White (Plymouth Argyle)



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