A grassroots football club has scooped a top award for the third time.
Brickfield Rangers, where Robbie Savage learned his trade, was named FAW 2017 club of the year for the third time in 15 years at the McDonald’s Welsh Community Football Awards ceremony held in Cardiff City’s football stadium over the weekend.
The award was presented to Brickfield Rangers CEO Paul Hooson by former Bangor City manager Andy Legg after a short video showing the hard work that goes on by the volunteers at Brickfield Rangers.
Mr Hooson, who attended the event with the club’s disability director Lynn Hooson, said: “What an achievement by everyone once again at Brickfield Rangers.
“Each year this club continually grows and becomes stronger within our community and to be recognised nationally is amazing especially when you consider all the other hard working top level clubs that Wales has to offer.
“I want to thank all the parents, coaches, directors, administrators and players within our club because without them Brickfield does not exist.”
FAW Trust CEO Neil Ward passed on his congratulations to all the winners and praised Ryan Giggs and Ian Rush for attending.
Mr Ward said: “I’m delighted these grassroots heroes have had their achievements acknowledged.
“They’re the people who make grassroots football tick.
“It’s fantastic to have legends like Ian Rush and Ryan Giggs supporting us.
“They acknowledge that they started their careers in the grassroots game.
“They emphasised how important it is that we get the grassroots game in good shape to support the future production of players.”
Ryan Giggs, McDonald’s head of Welsh football, said: “The extraordinary commitment and dedication shown by Brickfield Rangers is inspiring, making them very worthy winners of the Club of the Year Award.
“The continued development of the game in Wales fully depends on the determination of clubs like Brickfield Rangers and without their ongoing support for grassroots football, young Welsh footballers wouldn’t have these fantastic opportunities to grow and develop. I want to congratulate the club and hope they’ll continue to encourage others to volunteer and get involved in local grassroots football.”
Brickfield Rangers also received a video from former X Factor competitor Wagner, who congratulated everyone at the club for their success and encouraged them to ‘keep up the fantastic community work’.
The club was founded by local parents in 1976 comprising of just one youth team and now runs 32 teams including under 4’s, under 19’s and two adult teams.
Brickfield Rangers aim to get people active and engaged with a football in the community programme, walking football for the over 50s, outreach work in Wrexham’s multi-use games areas, engaging with children in 12 schools each year and more.
Also recognised at the McDonald’s Welsh Community Football Awards was Rhosddu United coach Ashley Edwards, from Wrexham, who was awarded the volunteer of the year award by Wales legend Ryan Giggs.
Ashley, who earned nearly 4,000 of the record 7,300 nationwide votes cast, said: “I thank everyone for their votes. I’m overwhelmed.
“Seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces is what I get out of bed for on a Saturday morning.”
From a young age Ashley has had a love for football.
He defied the odds after being born with two club feet, but many operations later, he could play the game he loved.
Ashley Edwards alongside Welsh legend Ryan Giggs
At the age of 18 he had the opportunity to coach and manage his local youth football team starting with mini football and has since taken his players through to where they are today at U14s.
Week in week out he devotes his free time to learning new skills and techniques to teach the team, whilst focusing on making training a fun and challenging environment for the players, aiming to bring out the best in everyone.
In the summer of 2015 Ash had an injury which has now made him unable to play the sport he loves. Despite this, he continues to be dedicated to developing the team at Rhosddu United.
To find out more about the club, visit www.brickfield rangers.co.uk