Michael Brundish wins Suffolk Groundsman of the Year for the fourth time

Old Newton United FC’s Michael Brundish has been named [Ransomes-sponsored] Suffolk Groundsman of the Year, for the fourth time, following the Suffolk FA competition judges’ decision late last week.

Brundish, who is in his 11th season as groundsman at the Touchline SIL Division One club, had previously won the competition, which is open to clubs that play at Step 7 and below, in 2011, 2012 and 2014. He also finished runner-up in 2015 and third last year.

Commenting on his victory, he said: “When you have not won it for three years, you feel you might have had your day, but you keep hoping your turn will come round again.

“I try to keep standards up every week and not let them drop, otherwise the pitch may go downhill, but I must still be doing something right and I am very happy to win again.”

He also thanked former club chairman David Shave for his help behind the scenes at the club.

Brundish, who now goes forward as Suffolk’s representative in The FA’s national competition, will receive £200 for groundscare equipment as well as a certificate.

Joint second places in this year’s Awards went to Bacton United 89 FC’s groundsman Roger Lawson and Claydon FC’s Tony Adams - who was last year’s winner. They each receive £75 for groundscare equipment.

Roger Lawson also won the draw to spend a match-day at Portman Road Stadium with the Ipswich Town groundstaff. Ipswich Town head groundsman Ben Connell, who led the judging panel, said: “The dedication of the winning groundsmen is reflected in the high quality of the pitches we have visited this year.”

Phil Jeggo, Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) regional pitch advisor for the East region agreed: “The pitches we have visited during the competition are up there with some of the best I have seen in my role with the IOG.”

Ella Boyden, PR and communications officer of competition sponsors Ransomes Jacobsen, said: “We are pleased to once again support the competition. All the pitches were a credit to grassroots football in the county.”

Suffolk FA Football Development Manager Jodie Allard said: “I’d like to thank all of the clubs who entered this year’s Groundsman of the Year competition and to everyone who continues to work hard behind the scenes to support grassroots football facilities in Suffolk.”