THE great and good of Central Wales football will rub shoulders with the elite of the national game at the annual Football Association of Wales Awards Ceremony in Cardiff on Saturday.
The region is well represented with Berriew Juniors Football Club vying for the Club of the Year award while the club’s junior head coach Paul Inns has been nominated for Grassroots Impact Award.
Newtown Football Club academy chief Gareth Watkins is also in contention having been nominated as the region’s Performance Development Coach of the Year.
The Llandrindod Wells mother and daughter duo of Julie Christopher and Katie Christopher will also be representing the region as Community Coach of the Year and Young Volunteer of the Year.
Berriew Junior Football Club’s Kelly Midmore completes Central Wales’ list of flag bearers as Volunteer of the Year, popularly known as the People’s Award with the winner decided by an online vote.
The ceremony will take place at Cardiff City Football Club and sponsored by McDonalds and follows a year long process starting with regional winners.
All regional winners will be put forward to our national panel, which includes Wales manager Chris Coleman and his assistant Osian Roberts, with the winners announced on Saturday.
The People’s Award will be announced after tallying up online votes collected over the summer.
Midmore has played a key role in developing the girls section at Berriew Football Club, establishing a pathway from under 10 through to under 16 level while also developing her own coaching skills with an FAW C certificate.
Midmore also serves on the committee of the Powys Girls League and Mid and North Powys Junior League while part of a Central Wales FA working group to develop the girls game across the region.
“I am proud of what we are doing at Berriew,” said Midmore. “We have the biggest girls section in Central Wales and I am passionate about creating a pathway for girls into regular football.
Meanwhile mother and daughter Julie and Kate Christopher were recognised for their work developing girls football at Llandrindod Wells Football Club with the community coach and young volunteer award.
The two have played a key role in developing girls football provision at Llandrindod Wells Football Club since becoming involved in 2010.
“We had eight players when I became involved with the club,” said Christopher. “Now the club has the largest girls section in Central Wales with more than 65 players and several sides.
“It’s great to receive the community coach award and I am so proud of Kate whose hours of commitment to the club has been recognised by the CWFA.”
Kate has continued to serve her hometown club and beloved Llandrindod Wells girls section despite her university commitments and switch to Welsh Women’s Premier League side Aberystwyth Town.
“Kate is studying physical education and coaching but despite her studies and commitment to Aberystwyth Town she remains very active with her hometown club,” said Julie.
Meanwhile Christopher will continue to develop girls football in Radnorshire.
“The women's game has suffered in Central Wales in recent years but signs are promising with growing girls sections at Llandrindod Wells and Berriew while Llanidloes Town are also back after several years in the wilderness.
Meanwhile Christopher added her voice to calls for improved facilities to be developed in Llandrindod Wells.
“Llandrindod Wells is a thriving football club but is being undermined by the lack of facilities,” said Christopher. “The girls currently have to train at Newtown, a 50 mile round trip, which is a long way to travel each week.”
“The town needs more pitches or a 3G pitch which would be a great asset to the club and community.”
Elsewhere Newtown Football Club academy manager Gareth Watkins was also recognised for his role in raising coaching standards and young talent as the Performance Coach of the Year.
Watkins said: “I am delighted with this award and thank all those who have supported me.
“Thanks to Jordan Morris for helping me plan, deliver and reflect and Newtown Football Club for their support and respectful, hardworking players.”
See full story in the County Times