The Pitch of the Year Awards recognise individuals and clubs who work tirelessly to ensure that their pitches look and feel the best that they can despite often having limited resources.
The awards will be launched via an online survey sent out to all clubs and they will be able to make one vote for their top pitch in the EVO-STIK NPL. Clubs will have 21 days to complete the survey, and with nominations from 80% of member clubs for the 2018 awards GreenFields are hoping that 2019 will see even more clubs cast their all-important vote.
Paul Milton, Commercial Director at GreenFields commented: “We are incredibly proud to be sponsoring and judging the second EVO-STIK NPL Pitch of the Year Awards and hope that even more clubs vote this year. There is so much hard work and dedication that goes into maintaining a pitch and it is of paramount importance to us that both individuals and clubs receive the recognition they so rightly deserve."
Once the votes are in GreenFields will be shortlisting three clubs per division to carry out pitch inspections at towards the end of March. The shortlisted pitches will be judged on the following criteria: clegg and moisture results, visibility of lines, overall grass coverage, quality of grass in goal mouth areas and overall surface stability. The judges will also take time to interview each Groundsman on aspects such as fertiliser frequency and Summer renovation plans as well as taking into account the staff used for pitch maintenance, the maintenance equipment owned by the club, the weather on the day of the visit, the geographical location and weather implications, the average hours of pitch usage and the level of irrigation in place at the club. GreenFields will document the visits by using a dedicated app and by taking a series of photos.
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Chairman, Mark Harris commented: “The quality of playing surfaces is an essential part of any thriving Non-League football club and the volunteers who maintain them are cherished. The Pitch of the Year Awards complement the Football Association’s Groundsman of the Year scheme by giving further recognition to those pitches in the Northern Premier League that are already of an exceptional standard. We are delighted to be working with GreenFields on this initiative.”
As with last year’s winners, (Premier- Whitby Town FC, North- Trafford FC and South- Loughborough Dynamo FC) there will be one winner per division. The winners will be announced at the League’s Annual End of Season Awards on 15 June in Blackpool and will be presented with a trophy along with a £500 voucher to redeem against maintenance materials or services from GreenFields.
More information on GreenFields can be found at www.greenfieldsturf.co.uk