THE Four Crosses Construction Arena has been visited by The FA this week with groundsman Elfyn Jones in the running for another award following praise of Colwyn Bay playing surface from Evo-stik North referees over the last season.
The awards were set up by The FA to reward grassroots groundsman, the vast majority of whom are volunteers, who play a huge role in ensuring pitches are in their best possible condition, week in, week out and to recognise the contribution of these ‘unsung heroes’, who work in all weather, all year round, to make sure that thousands of matches can take place on a high standard of playing surface.
There are separate awards for:
- The Football Conference (Steps 1 and 2)
- Southern League
- Isthmian League
- Steps 3 and 4 National Award
- Steps 5 and 6 National Award
- Step 7 and Below National Award
Step 1 – 6 Clubs are nominated by their respective Leagues, while Step 7 and below Clubs are nominated by their County FA. The top recommendations from each League and County are visited by the six judges, who are all groundsmen at Premier League and Championship football clubs across the country.
They not only look at the quality of the pitch, but also take into consideration the groundsman’s skills and knowledge, their ambitions for the pitch, the resources available, how often the pitch is used, and the amount of time they are able to work on the pitch.
The winning groundsmen in each category are presented with a trophy at their respective home grounds on the day of a pre-season friendly or league game and then are recognised again at our Awards Night. The Groundsman of the Year Awards Presentation brings together all the award winners, runners-up and highly commended groundsman for a day at St George’s Park which includes lunch, a tour of the facility and the awards presentation.
Elfyn is also in the final three for the Evo-stik League’s own award, the winner of which will be announced in June, and we all have our fingers crossed for him after the brilliant job he has done in the one of the wettest winters on record.