FOOTBALL: Kevin Sturmey wins Groundsman of the Year for Taunton Town

FOOTBALL: Kevin Sturmey wins Groundsman of the Year for Taunton Town

FOOTBALL: Kevin Sturmey wins Groundsman of the Year for Taunton Town

First published in Sport

TAUNTON Town head groundsman Kevin Sturmey won two major accolades at the Groundsman of the Year awards held on Wednesday.

Sturmey, who is also the club Chairman and Chief Executive, travelled to St George's Park - home of the new FA National Football Centre - for the ceremony where he was joined by groundsmen from Step 3 and Step 4 clubs from all over the country.

The Viridor Stadium pitch had been inspected in April by the head groundsmen from Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United but the results of the competition were not announced until this week.

Sturmey, who was accompanied by Town's Head of Football Development, Mo Hopkins, won the award for Southern League Groundsman of the Year.

And even more impressively he scooped the National Groundsman Award for Step 3 and Step 4 in the non-league pyramid which incorporates 208 clubs in total.

Sturmey said: “It was a fantastic day. To win the Southern League Groundsman of the Year was a great honour and then to win the national award was incredible, quite overwhelming.

“I hope it puts Taunton Town and the town of Taunton in the spotlight.

“I was embarrassed about our pitch when I used to help former groundsman Barry Holder in 2009 and we set about improving it.

“The improvement didn't show immediately but by 2011 it was in decent condition. “Unfortunately Barry had to step down and I initially took over as head groundsman to save the club money after the clubhouse fire.

“The rest as they say is history, but I have to thank Barry as he was and still is a big influence on me when I need some advice, along with everyone else who has helped create what we now have.

“But it is a 365 day a year challenge and I will keep working hard to keep it at the level we have now achieved. I hope these awards and winning the Somerset Premier Cup is the start of many more successes coming our way.

“I would like to thank everyone who has contacted me and the club with their congratulations and messages of support.

“I hope we will get a good crowd on Saturday when the two groundsman trophies along with the Somerset Premier Cup will be displayed before the game.”

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