0 Football Groundsman of the year awards announced

NF-ewan-hunter.jpgThe winners of the 2011 Groundsman of the Year awards for the npower Football League have been announced.

After a season when extreme weather pushed pitches to their limits, the efforts of ground staff across the country have been recognised with the Groundsman of the Year Awards 2011.

Ewan Hunter of promotion-chasing Nottingham Forest has been named winner of the npower Championship accolade, with Burnley's Paul Bradshaw and Gary Kemp of Norwich City both highly commended.

Carlisle United's David Mitchell scooped the Award for npower League 1 while Joe Aylett of Milton Keynes Dons and Southampton's Andrew Gray - last year's winner - both received commendations for the surfaces at Stadiummk and St Mary's.

In npower League 2, Anthony Haywood brought more success to promotion winners Chesterfield with the divisional Award for best groundsman. Bradford City's Michael Doyle and Shrewsbury Town's Richard Barnett were highly commended.

Championship

Winner: Ewan Hunter (Nottingham Forest)
Highly Commended: Paul Bradshaw (Burnley)
Gary Kemp (Norwich)

League 1

Winner: David Mitchell (Carlisle United)
Highly Commended: Joe Aylett (MK Dons)
Andrew Gray (Southampton)

League 2

Winner: Anthony Haywood (Chesterfield)
Highly Commended: Michael Doyle (Bradford City)
Richard Barnett (Shrewsbury Town)

Presented by the Playing Surfaces Committee, the Groundsman of the Year Awards recognise the importance of the quality of pitches and to acknowledge head groundsmen and their staff.

The Awards are determined initially using marks from referees and away managers for each game, and are then followed by detailed pitch inspections and a review of management operations. These visits were carried out in late March and early April.

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