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Cod Army claim Groundsman of the Year award

25 April 2014

Head Groundsman Dale Frith claims accolade in League Two

Fleetwood Town are delighted to announce that Head Groundsman Dale Frith has won the League Two Groundsman of the Year award.

The news was confirmed to Fleetwood Town on Friday morning, as the Cod Army beat off stiff competition from Hartlepool United and Plymouth Argyle for the accolade. 

Dale and his staff have worked tirelessly over the course of the season to keep the pitch in supreme condition.

Speaking to the club's official website, Dale said: "I am over the moon we have won the award. All the ground staff here at Fleetwood have put in a lot of hard work during the course of the season.

"It is nice to get some recognition for the work that we do and a reward for a lot of walking!

"We received a visit from a leading expert in the turf industry and he judged ours to be the best in League Two."

The awards were set up to recognise the importance of the quality of pitches for professional football and acknowledge the head groundsmen and their staff who produce the best playing surfaces.  Though this season has been mild exceptionally high winter rainfall experienced throughout the country provided a challenge for grounds staff at clubs.

In the Championship, Middlesbrough's Tony Bell has been named the best groundsman while Bolton Wanderers' Richard Norton was highly commended for a second successive year. Dave Butler of Queens Park Rangers was also highly commended.

League 1's best groundsman award has been given to Preston North End's Peter Ashworth for his work at Deepdale. Craig Richardson and David Fellowes, of Bristol City and Rotherham United respectively, were highly commended for the award. 

Fellowes' commendation was also his second in as many years.

League 2's top prize was handed to our very own Dale Frith. Hartlepool United's David Brown and Plymouth Argyle's Billy White were highly commended.

Winner: Tony Bell (Middlesbrough)
Highly Commended: Richard Norton (Bolton Wanderers)
Highly Commended: Dave Butler (Queens Park Rangers)

League 1
Winner: Peter Ashworth (Preston North End)
Highly Commended: Craig Richardson (Bristol City)
Highly Commended: David Fellowes (Rotherham United)

League 2
Winner: Dale Frith (Fleetwood Town)
Highly Commended: David Brown (Hartlepool United)
Highly Commended: Billy White (Plymouth Argyle)

The Football League’s Groundsman of the Year Awards are determined initially using marks from referees and away managers for each Sky Bet Football League game and are then followed by detailed pitch inspections and a review of management operations. These visits were carried out in April by Dr Stephen Baker, Head of Sports Surface Technology at the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI).

Well done to Dale and his team! 

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