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Elite eight recognised by Cambridgeshire FA in Grassroots Football Awards

Tough choices for panel as football community take plaudits

An excellent eight have been recognised for their efforts in helping Cambridgeshire’s football community in the McDonalds’ Grassroots Football Awards.

There are less than 1,100 teams playing in the county, ranging from under-sixes in mini soccer to veterans, and the awards aim to highlight the work of leagues, clubs, volunteers and community projects.

A panel of 10 including South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen, BBC Cambridgeshire presenter Chris Mann, the Cambridge Independent and some of Cambs FA’s volunteer support members met to go through the nominations.

With a strong list of contenders, there was much to consider in each of the eight categories.

The winners of the Charter Standard club of the year are March Soccer School.

Cambridge United amputee football team’s Phil Mullen was chosen as the coach of the year and the match official of the year is Dulcie Asher, who is one of only a few female referees officiating in the north of the county and has been regularly officiating in adult Saturday football this season.

Laura Mills is the young volunteer of the year having been a Cambs FA youth council chair, volunteering within her club as a lead coach for the Wildcats centre and also playing.

The Charter Standard league of the year is the Cambridgeshire Girls’ and Women’s League, and the Cambridge United Community Trust is the community project of the year for its work in building weekly football sessions for people in the community with a wide range of disabilities.

Tony Russell is winner of the Respect Award having coached hundreds of children over the past 27 years and mentored and up-skilled a large number of coaches, team managers and volunteers.

The volunteer of the year is Chesterton Eagles’ Mick East, who has been a club secretary and treasurer for the past 20 years, serving as a volunteer and helping rebuild the club from two teams.

Chris Pringle, the Cambs FA chief executive, said: “We have a group of amazing award winners this year from all areas of the game.

“It’s rewarding to see such a diverse group of winners, which demonstrates how the game has changed.

“It’s also a tribute to the panel making the awards, which in itself better reflected our football community. Many congratulations to all of our winners.”

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