Groundsman of the Year Award winners announced...
The Football League has announced the winners of the Groundsman of the Year Award for Season 2013/14 in each division, with Rotherham United receiving special mention.
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.
Rotherham United’s groundstaff of Dave Fellowes and Dave Burton were given special mention for being ‘highly commended’ for the second year running, a testament to the level of consistency of the New York playing surface.
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.
League 1's best groundsman award has been given to Preston North End's Peter Ashworth for his work at Deepdale.
League 2'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)
Winner: Peter Ashworth (Preston North End)
Highly Commended: David Fellowes (Rotherham United)
Highly Commended: Craig Richardson (Bristol City)
Winner: Dale Frith (Fleetwood Town)
Highly Commended: David Brown (Hartlepool United)
Highly Commended: Billy White (Plymouth Argyle)
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).