Each day this week, Liverpool County FA will be announcing the local winners of this year’s FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards, which recognise the hard-work, dedication and commitment of the individuals, clubs and leagues across the nation’s grassroots football community.
Coach of the Year – Anthony Smith
Somebody well known to many across the Merseyside grassroots football community – congratulations to this year’s Coach of the Year winner, Tony Smith of Dengo United.
Tony is, and always has been, a dedicated, respected and hard-working person when it comes to grassroots football. It’s a massive factor in his life with the amount of work he puts in to his team and mini-kickers sides; helping young boys and girls from the age of four through to 30 and over. Tony helps the people in our area get to do the thing they love, which is to play football. Without his tireless hard work and 100% effort – that wouldn’t be possible.
Tony has played for the same Sunday league side since he was a young boy and has gone on to manage them for the past 10-plus years – as well as playing whenever needed to ensure the team could field 11 players. This year, for the first time in over 20 years, Dengo United finally won the Liverpool Sunday Premier League and are in a cup final. Without any outside funding, Tony has run Dengo United in all aspects, as well as two mini-kickers teams for the young kids in the area. He’s always there when needed.
Many would agree that without Tony, Dengo United’s Sunday league side might have collapsed a long time ago – and the young kids wanting to play football and follow in their parents’ footsteps might not be able to, had he not put in the coaching classes he does week in week out. He never seeks praise or money – he loves the game and loves to help, even organising European football tours for all ages each year.
Congratulations to Tony from everybody at Liverpool County FA.