The manager of a talented Kidderminster junior football team has been given a top award  for his outstanding contribution to grassroots football.

Jon Maskell, manager of Kidderminster Athletic Hawks under 11s, was awarded the John Birch Memorial Trophy for his long-term commitment and dedication to the club, and the team he has managed for the past five years.

During the club’s annual presentation today, the 34-year-old was also recognised for the key role he plays on the club’s committee and through vital fundraising activities. He was also the driving force behind a widely-praised idea during lockdown which saw the team continuing with their weekly training sessions through video conferencing.

Colin O’Brien, vice-chairman of Kidderminster Athletic, said: “Jon is so committed to our club in every way. Not only is he a perfect example of how to run and manage a youth football team, but he lives and breathes the game. The team is always a massive priority for him.

“The John Birch Memorial Trophy recognises outstanding contribution to the club and Jon is the latest in a long line of amazing people who have won the award since we launched it almost 10 years ago. I am delighted for him and it’s fully deserved.”

Jon Maskell added: “It’s a massive honour for me to be awarded the trophy by Kidderminster Athletic.

“I don’t run the team for any recognition, I just love football and am passionate about helping the boys to develop their game. I am lucky to have such brilliant coaches and parents who back what we are doing. It really is like a big family.

“I can’t wait for next season and some big tests which are coming our way. I am sure the boys will deal with it superbly.”

Next season Kidderminster Hawks will be stepping up from the Stourport & District League to the Midlands Junior Premier League where they will be up against teams from the Black Country, Warwickshire and as far afield as Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire.

Although the 2019/20 season was cut short due to Covid-19, the boys won 27 of their games, losing only three and scoring 166 goals.

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