In­dusty award for the Foxes’ pitch per­fect grounds staff

Leicester Mercury - - News - By STAFF RE­PORTER

LEICES­TER City FC’s ex­pert grounds staff have re­tained their “pre­mier league” sta­tus.

The team has been recog­nised by the In­sti­tute of Grounds­man­ship (IOG), win­ning its pro­fes­sional foot­ball grounds team of the year award for the sec­ond year run­ning.

At a 10th an­niver­sary awards cer­e­mony at the Hil­ton Birm­ing­ham Metropole hosted by talkSPORT ra­dio pre­sen­ter Mark Sag­gers, City’s grounds man­ager, John Led­widge, and his team col­lected the award from Tom Grafen and Josh Hay­cocks, of award cat­e­gory spon­sors SGL.

The Foxes’ grounds team won the same award in 2015 and 2017.

In ad­di­tion to tend­ing the play­ing sur­faces at the King Power Sta­dium, the team main­tains the club’s train­ing ground, un­der-23s venue Holmes Park and the sta­dium and train­ing cen­tre of City’s Bel­gian sis­ter club, OH Leu­ven.

They con­tested this year’s award with their coun­ter­parts from the mighty Manch­ester City.

The awards high­light the high stan­dards of vol­un­teer and pro­fes­sional grounds­man­ship, from grass­roots to pro­fes­sional sta­dia level.

They are judged on cri­te­ria in­clud­ing ef­fec­tive use of re­sources, bud­getary con­trol, pre­sen­ta­tion stan­dards and en­vi­ron­men­tal con­sid­er­a­tions.

IOG chief ex­ec­u­tive Geoff Webb said: “Hav­ing this year suf­fered ex­treme weather con­di­tions, with the win­ter’s Beast from the East through to this sum­mer’s un­prece­dented record heat­wave, the cli­mate has tested grounds­men to their lim­its.

“Against all the odds and on a daily ba­sis bat­tling against the el­e­ments, this year’s awards had a fan­tas­tic ar­ray of nom­i­nees who have all achieved very high stan­dards.

“I ap­plaud ev­ery­one and thank them for their ef­forts in cre­at­ing amaz­ing play­ing sur­faces.”

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