3 Andy's skill wins him groundsman award

BUDLEIGH Salterton Footballs Club's chief groundsman was awarded the Devon FA groundsman of the year accolade this week.

Andy Ellett, 61, a professional groundsman, of Swains Road, previously worked at Budleigh cricket club for eight seasons and has been looking after Budleigh FC's ground for the past three.

He was awarded the prestigious prize for keeping the best ground out of any club in the Axworthy's Devon County League, where the club currently competes.

Each year the Devon Football Association seeks nominations for its groundsman of the year award.

Andy, who also maintains the Budleigh burial ground, said: "I didn't know I had been nominated until two weeks before. When I heard, I was absolutely gobsmacked.

"But to actually win it - I couldn't believe it. I was delighted, not just for me, but for the club." He will now receive a voucher from the Devon FA to assist with ground maintenance.

He added: "I wasn't there when they inspected the pitch, but I try to keep it in good nick, despite the team playing over 50 games this season.

"It is fascinating work. I love working outdoors. I am a farmer's son and was born and bred at Liverton Farm, and it was something I took up when I was in my 20s.

"I take a lot of pride in what I do. It's great when it goes well but, when it doesn't, it can be difficult. But I love it."

Graham Gordon of the Devon FA said: "The judges were impressed with the work that had been undertaken to keep the pitch up to such a high standard.
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