Well done Eric!Many people commented on how good the Memorial Stadium playing surface was last season and that has now been officially recognised.
Groundsman Eric Kingscott picked up the Football Association Award for Groundsman of the Year for the Football Conference at an awards ceremony at St George's Park on Wednesday.
The final decision came after a great deal of deliberation; "The judging process," said Eric, "involved a number of factors. Every referee who took charge of a game at The Memorial Stadium last season was required to provide feedback on the condition of the pitch.
"An independent groundsman then came down to inspect the playing surface and conducted a series of tests on the pitch, find out about all of the work carried out, what budget is available and the amount of equipment you have to carry out the necessary work.
"The referee's comments and the report of the independent groundsman then go to a panel who make the final decision on the overall winner.
"There are seven awards handed out for The Conference, which includes three divisions (Conference, Conference South and Conference North) and all groundsman nominated for an award were invited to St George's Park on Wednesday for the awards ceremony when all leagues below the Football League were represented.
"To win the top award was very pleasing, and surprising, and I was delighted to collect the trophy, which we now keep, on behalf of the club and everyone who helped out with work on the pitch last season. They include Dean Lawrence who comes in every week, and on matchdays, to the team of matchday volunteers who help move the goalposts and with divoting duties."
Keeping the playing surface in pristine condition is a big job and takes hours of backbreaking work, as Eric can testify; "A great deal of work, time and effort goes into preparing the pitch for matchdays, not to mention sleepless nights worrying about the weather!"
Everyone at the club would like to congratulate Eric on his award...now for the Football League Groundsman of the Year at the end of the current campaign - no pressure, then!