THE Norfolk & Suffolk Youth League were the big winners in The FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards 2018.
The N&SYFL won two awards, plus the work of chairman and charity ambassador Shaun Platten and member club Sole Bay were both recognised among the winners.
The league won the Charter Standard League of the Year category and Community Project of the Year for their Respect visits.
The Respect Award went to Shaun Platten for his determination to remove poor behaviour from his league.
Three of Sole Bay’s age group teams won their league Respect awards and ground improvements mean they now have one of the best facilities in their league, all of which helped them to win the Charter Standard Club of the Year.
Former Ipswich Town footballer Gavin Johnson, who manages Stowupland Girls’ Under-15s and led them to county cup and league and cup success, won the Coach of the Year award.
George Byrne, who is a National List Assistant Referee but continues to referee and mentor on the Bury & District Sunday League, won the Match Official of the Year.
Claydon FC groundsman and treasurer Tony Adams, who is 72, won the Volunteer of the Year category.
The winners, and those who were highly commended, will all be invited to receive their awards at a ceremony later this year.
The full list of winners was as follows:
Charter Standard Club of the Year: Sole Bay FC
Charter Standard League of the Year: Norfolk & Suffolk Youth League
Community Project of the Year: Respect Visits – Norfolk & Suffolk Youth League
Match official of the Year: George Byrne; Highly Commended: Gary High
The Respect Award: Shaun Platten; Highly Commended: Keith Mills
Coach of the Year: Gavin Johnson; Highly Commended: Dan Coe & Kieren Bedford
Grounds Team of the Year: Marcus Payne
Supporter of the Year: Vicky Godhard
Volunteer of the Year: Tony Adams; Highly Commended: Bob McCartney
Young Volunteer of the Year: Alex Shipp
The Judging Panel was led by Suffolk FA Football Development Manager Jodie Allard and also included Suffolk FA Director Roger Peck, Suffolk FA Council member John Pitts, McDonald’s franchisee Carol Rogerson and Director of Suffolk Sport John Clough.
Jodie Allard said: “The FA Respect Awards are a great opportunity to recognise and reward our fantastic workforce of volunteers, coaches, club and league officials, referees, grounds teams and supporters across the County.
“Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate their local grassroots heroes for these awards, which displayed a very high quality of applications.
“The judging process this year was another difficult one, with many categories displaying some fantastic individuals who are supporting and developing football in their local communities.
“Well done to everyone who was nominated for these awards, especially those who have been selected as winners for the 2017-18 season.
“Football could not take place without the amazing work that our partners do across the county to provide positive, safe and inclusive environments for everyone involved in the game.”
The FA’s National Panel will meet on July 9th to select national winners from the pool of County FA recipients and they will be formally announced at the 2018 FA Community Shield on August 5th.
To learn more about The FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards 2018, visit TheFA.com