MICHAEL Woodward-Bennett from Taunton has been announced as the Nationwide Mutual Respect Award winner for June 2022 for his transformational commitment to Staplegrove Football Club.

The Nationwide Mutual Respect Award, as part of The England Football Respect Campaign, aims to help make grassroots football more respectful and positive.

Mike receives a trophy, the accolade of being the Nationwide Mutual Respect Award winner and also win tickets to a forthcoming England game.

The recommendation from Mike’s community for the Nationwide Mutual Respect Award said: “When Mike first became involved with the under 9s football team, it was just as a dad. A dad who wanted to share his love of grass roots football with his son.

"The football club is in an area of high deprivation and many of the children who were attending had no other opportunities to take part in sports and no positive sporting role models to look up to.

"Mike soon became that role model. He put himself through an FA approved coaching course and began his mission to turn the club around."

Mike said: “I am honoured to win the Nationwide Mutual Respect award for June as winning the respect of youth football players can be a difficult task.

“Their attention span can be very short, and if sessions are not providing enough stimulation it can be very hard to keep them on task.

“I am constantly looking to see if they seem to be losing concentration and use different tactics to keep them on task. I make sure I am prepared before every session begins, planning how I will deliver the session allows less opportunity for the players to take advantage and become bored.

"I found that it is best to be very open to the parents about what I am doing, even when it comes to dealing with their misbehaving child. By involving them it makes them feel involved and appreciated.”

If you know someone you would like to nominate for the monthly Nationwide Mutual Respect Award, please follow the link below: https://www.nationwide.co.uk/about-us/mutual-respect/mutual-respect-award