awards pic

West Riding FA Grassroots Football Award Winners 2019

The West Riding Grassroots Football Award Winners 2019

Grassroots Coach of the Year

WINNER: Anthony Warren

CLUB: Garforth Rangers U11’s Manager

Anthony stands out from the rest because of his personality. He is enthusiastic, passionate and you can see he loves to coach. Whether this is the girls of Garforth Rangers or visiting teams, Anthony treats them all with respect and makes everyone feel good about their game and performance. He hands out high fives to players on both teams and creates a positive learning environment. Most of all Anthony makes football fun for the players, parents and volunteers. No matter the game or occasion, all players get equal playing time and the opportunity to play in all positions. Year on year the teams have continued to progress in developing skills. Anthony has brought 28 girls across two teams together to form a strong friendship. Anthony is a fantastic advocate of girl’s football and promoting the game. In addition to coaching 2 under 11 teams, he is also the Girls Development Officer of the club, supporting new and existing coaches and cheering on players across all teams.

Supporter of the Year

WINNER: Sophia Mountain

Sophia is the big sister of one the players. Aat the beginning of the season Sophia started helping out in the pavilion with the catering as a punishment for her untidy bedroom! Since then, Sophia has returned every game without fail, always supporting the players and club. Sofia herself explained that she was not great at maths, so she was put in front of house taking orders and money to develop her skills. Sophia has worked so hard for the club with her fundraising efforts. Sophia is a role model to the players. She bridges the age gap and shows the players what true team work is and how everyone needs to contribute to make it work. At the young age of 13, Sophia is a true grassroots hero.

Grounds Team of the Year

WINNER: Golcar United

The Golcar United Committee has taken a 50 year lease for maintenance of of their ground They have sourced over £50,000 worth of funding to improve the ground, including work to improve the pitch, the changing rooms, build a new stand, spectator facilities and club house. As a result of all the hard work over the last 6 months, the ground is now step 6 standard. The pitches will now be used by the senior and junior teams as well as local schools and league for cup games. The amount of work and dedication from the grounds team to improve the standard of facilities in such a short space of time is phenomenal. Some of the people have been involved in the club for over 50 years in player and coaching capacities and have ensured that the club has a future for the next 50 years. 

Grassroots Club of the Year

WINNER: North East Leeds FC

The club is progressive both in terms of adopting and implementing a bespoke DNA in line with the England DNA and how it manages the players within the club. Age groups with multiple teams are being grouped on friendship groups to ensure maximum enjoyment for the players and an environment young people want to be part of. The club has grown in size by almost 33% this year - virtually purely on word of mouth. The girls section has more than doubled in size. The club places a huge amount of emphasis on its club values: Respect, Fun, Development, Integrity, Pride and Hard Work. When a new player joins they are given a ‘welcome pack’ which explains these values and the ethos of the club. These are not just words on paper; they are implemented fully across all age groups and monitored by the Committee. The club has also set up an SSE Wildcats Football Centre this year which provides a fun football environment for girls aged 5-11 and the centre continues to attract fantastic numbers to the sessions.

Volunteer of the Year

WINNER: Rebecca Alderson

Rebecca is the Secretary of Brighouse Town Ladies Football Club. She has time for everyone and is always keen to promote women and girls football. Rebecca ensures the club continues to run by giving up an enormous amount of her own time. Rebecca joined the club a couple of seasons ago and has since become an instrumental part. She carries out numerous roles across the club, helping players, coaches and parents with any problems. Rebecca has had to learn on the job but has done every task to the highest level. 

Rising Star of the Year

WINNER: Robyn Prince

Robyn is a young coach and volunteer at Leeds United Foundation who embraces new thinking in the pursuit of continued improvement and development of her own playing and coaching skills. Robyn is respectful of every player she comes into contact with. Regardless of the player’s knowledge, experience or ability, she uses her skills and abilities to support her team mates or the children she is coaching. Robyn has a passion for football and wants to support other players who share the same passion and enjoyment she has. She is a young and inspirational role model who gives up a lot of her time to support the development of younger players and also to inspire young players to follow in her footsteps of playing for a club where she feels pride when putting the shirt on. Robyn has supported the delivery of the clubs PL4girls programme as well as shadow coaching at the U7s and U8s JFC. She currently plays for the Leeds United Shadow squad as well as Leeds United Ladies. Robyn is only 15 years old and shows excellent promise as a young coach. The programme which Robyn supports allows participation and enjoyment for girls taking part in football at all levels. It offers opportunities at school for fun and engagement as well as at community sessions.

We Only Do Positive Respect Award

WINNER: Allan Feather

Allan Feather is a 96 year old gentleman who has donated his time to football through playing, coaching and various unpaid volunteer roles for over 50 years. Allan’s dedication and positivity to grassroots football has always been a talking point with members of the Wharfedale Triangle League and without doubt Allan’s tenure within the game should be applauded Allan is a true grassroots hero.

Grassroots Project of the Year

WINNER: Huddersfield Town Foundation (EmployAbility)

The EmployAbility project is an inclusive programme that allows people age 16+ with any disability an opportunity to gain training and development for 12 weeks to increase employability skills, leadership and independence. In 2018 30 students started the course and 21 completed with 4 students gaining employment. The course provided students with hands on experience in a sporting venue and facilitated the progression onto volunteering roles with a local football clubs; Shelley FC, Huddersfield Town Foundation and Huddersfield Town match days. Some of the students progressed and completed an inclusive FA level 1 in Coaching Football course. The EmployAbility course has empowered people with a disability to explore a route into volunteering and employment. 

Grassroots Match Official of the Year

WINNER: Colin Woods

Colin Woods is a very reliable and consistent Referee working across many leagues in West Riding. Colin helps cover lots of games for the West Riding County FA, particularly within the Community Leagues (VETS, U21, Flexi) His reputation precedes him and he has gained respect through consistent decision making and by creating a fun match day environment for everyone involved. Colin treats everyone in grassroots football with respect and supports many other West Riding Referees with guidance and advice. 

League of the Year

WINNER: Huddersfield Junior Football League

The Huddersfield Junior Football League is one of the biggest football leagues in the country and provides football for around 11,000 junior players. The league has recently become an FA Charter Standard League which is a fantastic achievement for the size of the league and for all involved. The league have been first class in creating a better match day environment for players and referees through their partnership with West Riding FA’s Purple Shirt Campaign and Smokefree Sidelines innitaitive. Smokefree Sidelines is a campaign that saw all parents, coaches and spectators asked not to smoke on the sidelines at games, or within sight of children. Purple Shirt Campaign is an initiative where referees under the age of 18 wear a purple shirt. The shirt is a visual reminder to all parents, spectators and coaches that the individual is still a child and should be treated as such. 


Football Services Award

WINNER: Sally Thackray

Sally Thackray stepped down from her role as Chairperson of Bradford City Women at the end of the season. Sally has been a pleasure to work with throughout her years at Bradford and has always promoted the women & girls game. Sally has won this award because she has always shown a positive attitude to any issue that has arisen. She has always shown a good understanding of the rules and regulations regarding any disciplinary issues and has represented the club with dignity and professionalism at all times. 

Above & Beyond Award

WINNER: Russ Clarke

Russ Clarke has committed over 40 years of his life to volunteering in the grassroots game, from club and league committee roles to coaching roles across the male and female game. Russ’s dedication has had a significant impact on the growth of the game not only in his local region, but across the county. His most notable contribution has been his work with the West Riding Girls League and the Yorkshire U18 Girls League. His forward thinking and positive approach to the development of these leagues has helped to create one of the largest provisions for girl’s football anywhere in the country resulting in year on year growth for the girl’s game in the West Riding. 

Outstanding Contribution to Safeguarding Award

WINNER: Ian Softley

Ian has gone above and beyond expectations when managing safeguarding concerns. He liaises with the police, schools, and other statutory bodies such as social services. Without doubt, Ian always has the needs of the child as his focus and he works tirelessly with sensitivity, professionalism and patience to ensure children are safe at all times. Ian goes above and beyond to create an environment where children flourish and above all are happy. 

Outstanding Contribution to Refereeing Award

WINNER: Roger Haycock

Roger has always displayed an unwavering commitment to grassroots football within the county and namely the development of referees. Ian has has been a prominent figure within Bradford and has been involved in both the Referees Association and the District. It was of no surprise that Roger progressed through the Assessor/Observers pathway on to the semi- professional game, which develops officials trying to reach the higher echelons of the game. Having seen many changes in football over the years, Roger has displayed the ability to move with the times and has always delivered salient reports with development to aid the match official’s development. He has always been a supporter of the WRCFA referees department and has always gone over and above what most would deem acceptable for the benefit of others. We were the recipients of his outstanding commitment as a department last season when he not only acted as Observer Co-ordinator for the Bradford area, but due to an issue in another District FA Roger stepped in to help other officials within another district.