PEMBROKESHIRE FOOTBALL HERO COLLECTS NATIONAL FOOTBALL AWARD
16 October 2014

PEMBROKESHIRE FOOTBALL HERO COLLECTS NATIONAL FOOTBALL AWARD

Boys Player of the Year Award

On Monday 13th October, Liam Cullen, from Tenby, was honoured by 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 Boys Player of the Year category in the annual grassroots football awards.

The FAW Community Awards, presented by McDonald’s, aim to recognise and celebrate those individuals, clubs and leagues, across Wales, who dedicate their time to grassroots football in their local community or show exceptional footballing talent.

Carl Darlington, one of Liam's National Under 16 coaches, collected the award on Liam's behalf ahead of the Wales vs Cyprus UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match, at a national ceremony attended by McDonald’s Head of Welsh Football, Ryan Giggs.<1r>

Liam Cullen is a student at Greenhill Comprehensive School in Pembrokeshire and has been involved with the Welsh National Development U15’s squad over the course of the last year. He’s made a real impact on the pitch, scoring vital goals against Scotland and Northern Ireland and also against Switzerland in this year’s Tri Nations tournament in Belgium. His rapid development, skill and maturity as a player has led him to play for the higher U16’s and U18’s age groups at Swansea City Academy, where he has trained and played for many years now.

McDonald’s Head of Welsh Football, Ryan Giggs said: “Liam is certainly one of the brilliant young prospects we have in Wales and I wish him every success as he continues on his own footballing journey. Liam’s award is a reflection of the hard work that goes into grassroots football which runs up and down the country. 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 Liam on winning and it is fantastic that he hasve been recognised.”

Local McDonald’s franchisee, Ron Mounsey, said: “It is a privilege to congratulate Liam on this award. My restaurants in Pembrokeshire support a number of local grassroots clubs and it’s great to see Liam win this award as it shows that the countless hours that grassroots volunteers put in are really paying off. Without them football across Pembrokeshire would cease to exist so it is vital that we celebrate and recognise them through these awards.”

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