For the second time in three years Ross Juniors Football Club have been awarded the Herefordshire Football Associations Chartered Standard Club of the Year. At an awards ceremony at Edgar Street the club's Chairman Jim Loftus was presented the award by the County Football Association. Ross were selected from a final shortlist of 3 by the Football Association panel, the nomination cited the clubs excellent work in growing the game in the local community mentioning the club having men's, women's, veterans, boys and girls side so providing football for all. The nomination also mentioned the excellent work done by the club alongside the cricket club in renovating and rejuvenating the sports centre and its fields into one of the best venues for sport in the county. This award completes a quadruple for the club and sits alongside the recently awarded Queens Award, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sports Club of the Year and Herefordshire Sport Club of the Year.
Jim Loftus was delighted ,"it is always nice to receive recognition for everyone in the clubs hard work and enthusiasm, we now have close to 450 playing members, an army of volunteers, coaches and supportive parents, this award recognises all their efforts in making the club what it is. Personally it was nice to hear from local football figures like Andrew Morris of Westfield's and Ken Kinnersley of Hereford FC how much progress they can see the club is making as it grows and Ross re-establishing itself in Herefordshire Football."
The club received the award as part of a joint McDonalds and Football Association initiative that aims to recognise the unsung heroes of the grass roots game. Like all of the other sports clubs in the town the football club relies on membership fees, sponsorship and grants to stay afloat and help maintain the facilities for the club members and the general members of the public to use. Jim went on to acknowledge how important such awards are "it gives everyone in the club a feel good factor and makes them feel their efforts are noticed. Recently we have with the Sports Centre faced some severe challenges in meeting costs and maintain what we offer our members. With these awards and support from local businesses like Dawleys among others alongside Councillors Lerego and Lister becoming advocates for the Sports Centre the future looks great for us as a club and sport in the town".
This award caps another remarkable year for the club who have added a very enthusiastic ladies section to the club and seen the girls section becoming a Gold Sister Club of Birmingham City Ladies. Much effort is now going into creating a second men's club alongside the existing men's side and the boys section is blossoming with some age groups having up to 3 teams in the county leagues. For the third year in a row the club under Neil Vanstone are fielding a side in the West Midlands Premier League Under 16 section, the highest standard of junior football outside the academy system and the walking football is blossoming to under the guidance of Ron Goulding.
The club will be celebrating this award at a McDonalds Community Football morning on Saturday 3rd September. The event will see a football fete which will include zorb football, freestylers, coaching for toddlers, inflatable and a competition for the hardest football kick in Ross. There will also be games and open training sessions running alongside the sports centre being open for refreshments and BBQ. The event is a community event so not just open for club members but anyone who fancy's coming along to try some games or see what it's all about.