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Toolstation NCEL dominate awards ceremony

21st February, 2021

Our Fixtures Secretary Matt Jones was one of a number of Toolstation NCEL winners at the first ever Sheffieldfootball.com awards that were unveiled earlier this week.

The website set up the awards to place a spotlight on the clubs and individuals who make non-league football in South Yorkshire truly exceptional and the results were announced via their social media feed on Wednesday night. Click here for the thread.

Matt picked up a Recognition Award, for his work in scheduling fixtures during the last couple of seasons that have been badly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The judges said: "He has prioritised the safety of players, staff and supporters whilst promoting our clubs and has done so with a superb positive attitude.

"Matt is somewhat of a fixture magician as he manually manages the fixture list each season which is a mammoth task.

"He maintains excellent relationships with our clubs, and this has been apparent with the outpouring of support from clubs since this award was announced.

"Matt has been exceptional in his role and is thus very deserving of the recognition award."

There were many other equally deserving winners from the NCEL with Hallam picking up Atmosphere of the Year as well as Club Ambassador of the Year for the excellent work done at Sandygate by Sharon Fudge.

"From the entrance into the world's oldest ground to the final whistle, if you’re at Sandygate you know you’re going to be in for an evening/afternoon of entertainment and a cracking atmosphere", the judges remarked, adding that Sharon "is beloved amongst the Hallam FC supporters due to her approachable nature and the desire to see all aspects of the club succeed."

Rossington Main were Ground of the Year winners with their Oxford Street home described as striking "a unique balance between practicality, traditionalism, and modern fan-friendly facilities."

Community Club of the Year went to Handsworth following their return to their Olivers Mount home that has provided "a beautiful facility for non-league football" and "a superb home for local junior football further promoting footballing opportunities to the children of their community."

Parkgate won Programme of the Year with the panel agreeing that "the quality of written article in the matchday programme is the perfect accompaniment for any visitor to the Roundwood Sports Complex."

Social Media of the Year was won by Armthorpe Welfare who "have provided news, excellent photography and have utilised their social media presence to further promote sponsorship opportunities at the club."

Worsbrough Bridge Athletic were proclaimed Friendliest Club of the Year as "from the staff on the door, at the food hatch, right through to the chairman at Worsbrough you will find the most approachable people in non-league.

"During the pandemic, Worsbrough Bridge further showed incredible kindness to their community by organising free school lunches to the children in the local community who needed it the most."

But, the biggest winners were Penistone Church who took home the Excellence Award for impressing with all areas of their club.

The judges said: "Despite the pandemic, it is fair to say that Penistone Church have had an exceptional year on and off the pitch.

"Before the 2019/20 season was cut short, Ian Richards' side were semi-finalists in the county cup and were well in contention to promotion from the NCEL Premier Division.

"Following the lockdown and the uncertainty this brought to our clubs, Penistone were very proactive and, through the immense support of their community, they did an excellent job of fundraising.

"Away from the pitch, Penistone ensured their ground was COVID safe by installing appropriate measures to their clubhouse and converting their hospitality suite into a kitchen to ensure they could still make vital matchday revenue.

"A new turnstile was fitted alongside an outside bar/merchandise stand and a new media vantage point was constructed which would prove vital as the club provided an online stream service for behind-closed-doors games.

"Penistone Church have a friendly, passionate and welcoming group of volunteers who take great pride in their club - this pride translates through to the community and it is a common occurrence to see the youngsters of Penistone sporting club merchandise even on non-matchdays.

"This tight-knit relationship with the local community has allowed Penistone to build on their excellent youth structure which does a great job of nurturing the talent of the future.

"Penistone utilise the local media effectively and can be frequently heard on local radio, their use of social media is professional yet personable which encapsulates the feel of the club perfectly, and they have an outstanding website - another example of excellence that this club has shown."

Congratulations to all of the winners and a massive thanks to Sheffieldfootball.com for organising the awards to help recognise the efforts of football in the area, especially during what has been a very difficult last twelve months.

Click here for the full details about the awards.

(Story Source: Sheffieldfootball.com)

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