Last night two Gloucestershire based sides scooped awards as the Hellenic League Presentation night took place at Oxford United’s Kassam Stadium.
Longlevens AFC picked up the Premier Division’s Respect and Fair Play award whilst Gloucester neighbours Tuffley Rovers took home the title of the Premier Division’s Most Hospitable Club, for the second season in a row.
Representatives from both clubs were in Oxford to collect the awards and the awards are being proudly showcased on the clubs’ social media accounts.
We spoke to Longlevens’ first team coach Mark Moore, who was joined at the Kassam by player/assistant manager Craig Martin, about the achievement and he said,
“I’m really happy to pick up this award. The club as a whole are right behind the respect campaign both on and off the field. It is a real credit to the boys that when they cross the white line they set a great standard for Longlevens as a club.”
Tuffley Rovers’ Neil Spiller reflected on retaining the most hospitable club award for the Premier Division when we spoke to him.
“I’m incredibly proud of the recognition the club has received, not just for last season but for now winning this award for two consecutive years. Five years ago we set out objectives to improve facilities for our spectators and our promotion to the Hellenic League Premier three seasons ago meant that further improvements were needing for visiting officials.
“This award is testament to the effort put in by several people who share an ethos that we should make Tuffley Rovers a place people want to visit. Our aim is to show genuine respect to our visitors, including the match officials.
“The standard of hospitality at many of the other clubs in the league is truly wonderful, so for us to win the award for our contribution is something incredibly special.”
The award caps off a great week for Tuffley Rovers, after they were acknowledged as a club destined for big things on Twitter by TalkSport commentator Tony Incenzo. Spiller is already looking to the future and the coming season.
“The good news is that we won’t rest on our laurels. We have some new volunteers on board for the season, a new area for visiting officials with plans to focus on our theme of continual improvement. This season has, at times, been a difficult season and I was at a point personally where I intended to leave the club. But I am now optimistic about the future of the club and the committee are hoping for a very bright future!
“Finally, my own personal thanks goes to my wife and daughter, who work tirelessly to prepare and serve the customers. They deserve as much recognition as anyone for this wonderful achievement.”
The double acknowledgement is a great achievement for both clubs and shows that despite the fact Gloucestershire is considered a rugby county, football is played in the right way and enjoyed as it should be. Congratulations to both and to all of our clubs for a wonderful season.