Bedfordshire FA are delighted to announce the Groundsman of the Year 2020 winner………………….. Wes Matthews of Cranfield United.
Many of you will be familiar with Wes after he won the National GOTY Award in 2018 for his excellent work on the Elstow Abbey FC pitch. Wes caught the eye of the professional club judges with his innovative methods of building equipment that would otherwise be very costly. He didn’t disappoint this year either with other pieces of machinery that have been developed since then.
Wes wanted to concentrate on a grass pitch that was solely used for football with the added challenge of having to accommodate more games being played on the surface. This led to supporting Ivor Kennett at Cranfield United in the 2018-2019 season. Ivor himself possesses a wealth of experience and regularly maintained the pitch that had to withstand 40+ matches.
Wes has just completed his second full season with the club and the number of fixtures have continued to rise as a result of the First, Reserves, Sunday and Veteran sides playing on the pitch. The challenges have been greater than ever with storm Ciara and Dennis to contend with but the pitch was impeccably maintained and presented.
MH Goals Ltd and British Sugar Topsoil have once again supported our County FA’s GOTY Award by providing the following prizes for the winner and three highly commended:
Wes Matthews (Cranfield United) - £300 gift voucher
Mark Hobley (Dunstable Town Cricket Club) - £100 gift voucher
Tony Holmes (Caddington Sports & Social Club) - £100 gift voucher
Ben Simkins (AFC Shillington) - £100 IOG Qualification
The FA will now put forward each County FA winner into the Regional competition. The winner of the East Region coupled with the other Regional award winners will then be put forward to the National competition. Can Wes now follow in his own footsteps and repeat the feat he achieved in 2018?
Despite the current climate, the weather looks set to brighten up and the ability to get out in the fresh air to maintain the pitches and prepare them as best as possible for when football can be played is something that can restore some normality into what has been a severely disruptive time for everybody.
To keep in touch with like-minded people and for hints and tips, please sign up to the groundskeeping Hive page where grassroots experts provide support and guidance with demonstrations and timelines to help you improving the quality of your pitch – click here
For more information on the Hive groundskeeping page, Pitch Improvement Programme or Grass Pitch Revenue Grant then please contact James Petty on James.Petty@BedfordshireFA.com