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Dale Frith highly commended by Football League

30 April 2015

Cod Army's pitch rated in top three in League One

Fleetwood Town's Head Groundsman Dale Frith told the Club website he hopes to claim the top accolade in next season’s Groundsman of the Year award.

Dale and his team finished in the top three, behind eventual winners Bristol City in League One in what is the Club’s first ever year in the third tier of English football.

These awards recognise the importance of the quality of pitches for professional football and acknowledge those head groundsmen and their staff who consistently produce the best playing surfaces in The Football League.

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).

Dale told the Club website: “I was really pleased we were nominated in the first place and to get highly commended by the Football League is a fantastic honour. We have gone up against some big clubs and it was always going to be a step up after our promotion last season.

“There are some very good pitches at this level so we are delighted we are rated in the top three and highly commended by the Football League.

“The event was held at Manchester City’s new academy on Thursday afternoon. There were some great speakers from Manchester City.

“Mike Summerbee presented the awards and it was a great experience overall. It was a joint scheme with the Premier League clubs and Manchester United and Arsenal shared their top award.

“At the end of the day it is our job to produce the best quality pitch for the players to compete on and win three points for Fleetwood Town.

“Another important factor is to make sure the game takes place. So that means if we have to use frost sheets or monitor the amount of rain that has landed on the surface. We are delighted that we have been highly commended.

“Hopefully next season we will win the main award. Congratulations to Bristol City, they have a great surface, likewise Oldham Athletic.

“I know Lee Williams from Oldham quite well and he has done a great job. Other clubs also come into it and Preston North End received a mention and they were very close to being nominated.

“We will continue to try and provide the best surface possible for Fleetwood Town and the hard work will start ahead of the new season in August.”

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