Andy pitched in for award chance

NOMINATION: Ian Lacy and Andy Flanagan.
NOMINATION: Ian Lacy and Andy Flanagan.

A YOUNG groundsman’s career continues to blossom after he was nominated for a prestigious award.

Andy Flanagan, Hartlepool United’s assistant groundsman, has been nominated for the national Young Groundsman of the Year award.

The 22-year-old has been with the club for five-and-a-half years after being offered a role following a successful spell of work experience.

In 2007 he passed his Level 2 qualification and was rewarded with a promotion to assistant groundsman, working under head groundsman Dave Brown.

Ian Lacy, from the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG), visited Victoria Park on Saturday morning to make an assessment of the pitch before reporting back to the judging panel in Milton Keynes who will make the final decision.

Andy said: “Ian told me that the assistant groundsman from Bolton Wanderers is the only other name on the shortlist and that it will be a tight contest.

“It’s a real honour for me to be in the running for the award and says a lot about the team we have working on the pitch here in Hartlepool.”

He will discover whether he was won the award at a gala dinner at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium in early December, which he will attend alongside the head groundsman.

Mr Brown said: “I’m really pleased for Andy, because he’s worked ever so hard and deserves his nomination.

“We’ve won some good awards as a team over the years and this would be another great accolade for us and it’s brilliant news for Andy.

“He’s learned well over the years – I must be a really good teacher.”