Now in its 11th year, The FA’s Groundsmen of the Year awards were set up to recognise the contribution of these unsung heroes of the grassroots game and encourage the development of groundmanship.
The majority of football in this country is played outside the Football League. Quality pitches are therefore essential for the development of football at every level. Grassroots groundspeople, the vast majority of whom are volunteers, play a huge role in ensuring pitches are in their best possible condition, week in, week out.
The current award structure is as follows. There are separate awards for:
• The Football Conference (Steps 1 and 2)
• Northern Premier League
• 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 selected by their County FA following local nominations. The top recommendations from each League and County are visited by FA judges who draw up the final shortlist.
These six judges 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.
Each local winning groundsperson will be 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 the Oxfordshire FA Awards Evening later this year. 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.
Oxfordshire nominations for Step 7 and below are now OPEN!
Nominate your Groundsman of the Year
The closing date is Monday 12th March 2018.