Evo-Stik Groundsmen Up for Awards

The EVO-STIK Northern Premier League’s top groundsmen are on their way to being honoured nationally at the Football Association’s 2015 Groundsmen of the Year Awards.

Loughborough Dynamo’s Chris Nurse, named by the FA at last year’s finals as the EVO-STIK NPL’s top groundsmen, Nantwich Town’s Peter Temmin, Colin Spence from Newcastle Town, Mick Grimmer at Stocksbridge Park Steels and Witton Albion’s Peter Robinson, will fly the flag for the EVO-STIK NPL at the 14th annual awards in August after their nominations were confirmed by the league on Wednesday.

The awards are taking place once again at the FA’s new national football centre at St George’s Park near Burton where the five will bid to beat their Ryman and EVO-STIK League Southern counterparts to the title of FA Step 3-4 Groundsman of the Year as well as competing against each other for the EVO-STIK NPL’s title in the league categories.

The next stage of the competition will see on-site assessments at the nominated grounds by the FA’s expert panel of judges, made up of groundsmen from a number of Premier League and Football League clubs.

They’ll not only look at the quality of the pitches but also take into consideration a finalist’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 surface.

Witton Albion’s Peter Robinson has reached the finals for the third successive year while Grimmer was runner-up to Nurse in 2014 in the EVO-STIK NPL category. The pair also flew the flag for the EVO-STIK League in the Step 3 & 4 finals where both were highly commended by judges.

When not tending to the First Division South club’s pristine playing surface at the Nanpantan Sports Ground, Nurse, 28, is of course, one of the EVO-STIK League’s top strikers.

The FA’s Groundsman of the Year accolades are handed out to recognise the outstanding contribution made by the unsung heroes of the game and encourage the development of groundmanship.

Groundsmen, the vast majority of whom are volunteers, play a huge role in ensuring pitches are in the best possible condition, working week in, week out, in all weathers and all year round, to make sure that thousands of matches can take place on high standard playing surfaces.

More than a hundred groundsmen and women from all levels of the game are expected to attend the awards where the winners will be honoured in front of their peers when they collect national and individual league awards and commendations from members of the FA’s Pitches & Facilities Committee.

Source: Dave Watters

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