Calderwood wins Football Groundsman of the Year award
Villa have already got the better of Stoke - with Jonathan Calderwood pipping his opposite number Andy Jackson to the IOG Football Groundsman of the Year award.
Calderwood was handed the honour last night at a star-studded ceremony in York.
This is the second time Calderwood has won the prize, scooping the honour previously in 2009.
Calderwood looks after the stadium pitch as well as the seven full-size grass pitches, three goalkeeping areas, six junior pitches and three full-size 3G synthetic pitches at the club's training ground.
With a Higher National Diploma in Sports Turf Science and Sports Ground Management, Jonathan is also chair of the Head Grounds Managers Group at the European Stadium Safety Managers Association (ESSMA) - set up to share ideas and raise the profile of stadia safety and pitch issues across the industry.
He was thrilled to win the Institute of Groundsmanship award because it's voted for by his peers.
He said: "It's a great honour. It really is. "The IOG vote is based on votes cast by professional groundsmen from all sports - not just football - and other industry leaders too.
"I am very proud but a massive amount of praise has to go to all of my team for the hard work and dedication they put into making sure that the pitch at Villa Park, as well as all of the pitches at Bodymoor, remain up to our very high standards.
"They were some very good pitches in the mix this season, none more so that Andy's at the Britannia Stadium. I am pleased to have come out on top in that battle - let's hope the first team do too tomorrow."
Calderwood was also keen to thank the board - Randy Lerner and Paul Faulkner - for their unerring support.
He added: "Randy and Paul both respect what we do. I think we're the best club in the country to work for.
"They have total respect for what we do and the importance of the job. They see us as a vital part of the backroom team. Some clubs don't do that.
"It's second to none here. They see the role as a proper science, not as a simple grass cutter. They appreciate it's a skilled profession.
"The manager Paul Lambert has been very complimentary too and that's been fantastic feedback also."
Calderwood has also won the Barclays Premier League Groundsman of the Year and Groundman's Groundsman of the Year awards on numerous occasions during his ten-year tenure at Villa.
Snap up your tickets and back the boys against Stoke.
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