Local heroes recognised with Grassroots Awards

Earls Barton Uniteds Tony Sanders collected the Grounds Team of the Year award
Earls Barton Uniteds Tony Sanders collected the Grounds Team of the Year award

Heroes of local football were recognised when the Northamptonshire Football Association (NFA) hosted its 2019 FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Awards.

A total of 10 prizes were handed out to the outstanding volunteers, leagues and clubs who dedicated their time and effort to grassroots football in the county during the 2018-19 season.

The event, which was held at ON Chenecks in Northampton, was hosted by NFA executive officer Sarah Bentley and provided an opportunity for the local organisation to celebrate the work that goes on within the county and say a big thank you to the volunteers who help to make grassroots football in Northamptonshire a safe, fun and inclusive environment.

After nominations were submitted by clubs, leagues, schools and other local organisations, a judging panel assessed the nominations whilst taking into consideration The FA’s PRIDE values of Progression, Respect, Inclusion, Determination and Excellence.

The judging panel also wanted to recognise the achievements and contributions of several highly commended nominees, who just missed out on winning at this year’s Grassroots Football Awards.

Bentley said: “I was so impressed with the quality of applications for this year’s awards.

“It was an absolute honour to host the evening and hear about some of the amazing work our volunteers, supporters, referees, clubs, leagues and teams do to help provide a safe and fun environment for people to play football in the county.

“As we look ahead to next year, I’m committed to helping the team at the NFA get out to support our volunteers with all aspects of making football happen safely.

“Safeguarding is an absolute priority for us and we’ll be training our volunteers to deliver on our safeguarding responsibilities at training and on matchday.”

Northamptonshire FA’s county winners will now be put forward for the national FA awards, with the ceremony set to take place at Wembley on FA Community Shield final day (Sunday 4 August).

Award winners

Grassroots Grounds Team of the Year: Tony Sanders (East Barton United).

We Only Do Positive Respect Award: Northampton & District Youth Alliance League.

Grassroots Supporter of the Year: Jake Nash (Bugbrooke St. Michaels).

Grassroots Rising Star of the Year: Cameron Marshall.

Grassroots Project of the Year: Sands United.

Grassroots Volunteer of the Year: Dan Beaman.

Grassroots Coach of the Year: Matthew Goude (JK Blisworth).

Grassroots Match Official of the Year: Dan Wood.

Grassroots Club of the Year: Peterborough Northern Star.

Grassroots League of the Year: Peterborough & District Junior Alliance Football League.

Highly commended nominees: Neil Conroy, Chris Barton, Cameron Holmes, Beth Sibley, Sarah Jessiman, Chris Rowland, Earls Barton United FC, Northampton Town Community Trust, Northants Senior Youth League.