Club of the Year Award
On Monday 13th October, representatives from Merthyr Town, joined football legends including Craig Bellamy and Ryan Giggs at The Football Association of Wales (FAW) Community Awards, presented by McDonald’s, after being named winner of the Club of the Year in the annual grassroots football awards.
The FAW Community Awards, presented by McDonald’s, aim to recognise and celebrate those volunteers, clubs and leagues, across Wales, who dedicate their time to grassroots football in their local community.
Chairman, Meurig Price, Elliott Evans and Brent Carter from Merthyr Town collected their award at Cardiff City Stadium ahead of the Wales vs Cyprus UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match, at a national ceremony where they got to meet McDonald’s Head of Welsh Football, Ryan Giggs.<1r>
The turnaround that Merthyr Town has been through is truly remarkable and this is thanks to the local community who have dedicated countless hours to transforming them into the club that they are today.
In June 2012, Merthyr Town were facing liquidation leaving the community without a local football team. The board of directors pulled together with the loyal fans to return the club to its former glory. They are now owned by the local community and boast state of the art facilities including a 3G pitch that is almost in constant use.
McDonald’s Head of Welsh Football, Ryan Giggs said: “Merthyr Town’s award is a reflection of the hard work that goes into grassroots football which runs up and down the country. It is thanks to volunteers like those who have work hard to save Merthyr Town so that our young footballers can enjoy grassroots football in a safe and fun environment. It’s important that we recognise the extraordinary efforts of the volunteers and clubs across Wales because without their dedication, time and effort the game as we know it wouldn’t exist. I would like to personally congratulate the volunteers from Merthyr Town on winning, it is fantastic that they have been recognised and it was a pleasure to meet them on the night.”
Local McDonald’s Operations Manager, Jacqui Cozens, said: “It is a privilege to congratulate Merthyr Town on this award. My restaurants in Merthyr support a number of local grassroots clubs and it’s fantastic that local volunteers like those at Merthyr Town, who dedicate countless hours to grassroots football, provide constant opportunity for our local community to enjoy the game. Without them football across the Merthyr area would cease to exist so it is vital that we celebrate and recognise them.”
McDonald’s has been working with The FAW for 12 years to improve the standards of grassroots football. As part of McDonald’s ongoing commitment to improving the standards of grassroots football the partnership between The FAW and McDonald’s was recently renewed for another four years. The programme, which includes the annual Community Awards, focuses on raising the standards at accredited clubs from better safety, and better advice, to better kit and better recognition for volunteers.
As part of McDonald’s continued support for the grassroots game, 500 accredited clubs with a junior team will be given the opportunity to order a brand new adidas strip every year for the next four seasons. This means there is potential for over 7,000 strips to be distributed to clubs across Wales in the first year.
To find out more about McDonald’s renewed partnership with The FAW and the 2014 Welsh Community Football Award winners visit www.mcdonalds.co.uk/betterplay and follow @2014Grassroots.
The 2014 FAW Football Award national winners were:
Club of the Year – Merthyr Town FC, Merthyr Tydfil
Performance Development Coach of the Year - Jay Catton, GAP Connah’s Quay Academy
Lifetime Achievement Award – Paul Hooson, Brickfield Rangers FC
School of the Year – Ysgol Tudno, Llandudno
Player of the Year (girl) - Lauryn Lyons, Flintshire
Player of the Year (boy) – Liam Cullen, Pembrokeshire
Grassroots Impact Award – Cefn Druids FC, Wrexham
Community Coach of the Year - Carys Davis, Newcastle Emlyn Ladies FC
Young Volunteer of the Year – Ellis Morgan, Islwyn JFL
Volunteer of the Year (People’s Award) – Andy Jones, Ton and Gelli Boys and Girls FC