It was a case of third time lucky for Darren as this was the third time in as many years that Tottenham have been shortlisted for the award. This season we won it ahead of Middlesbrough and Arsenal.
Darren said: “A great pitch requires a dedicated set of ground staff and it’s a terrific honour for James Buttar, Adam Singleton, Wayne Billing and all the team at the Lane. It’s recognition of having the top playing surface in the division and all the hard work put in this season to make that possible, especially as we’ve played 12 games more than we did last year.”
Baldwin confided that there have been many admirers of White Hart Lane turf this season, including most recently Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger, who have enquired to the secrets of his success. But the Spurs man always refuses to pass on any tips to the competition.
Darren added: “There are secrets, which I won’t give away, but the biggest thing is always the professionalism of the team. I’ve been on the judging panel for the FA for the non-league equivalent of the Groundsman of the Year awards and it’s been beneficial for me to see what goes on across the country and even pick up some tips. So being able to bring all that together and for us to finally win this award is terrific.”
Darren will be presented with this award and a cheque for £1,000 from Barclays at the penultimate game of this season against Blackburn Rovers. After the final game of the season against Manchester City, his lovingly crafted surface will be ploughed up and reradiated to make way for next season's pitch!
There was some good news for ground staff at White Hart Lane this week when our Grounds Manager Darren Baldwin was voted Barclays Premiership Groundsman of the Year.The award is the top honour for playing surfaces in the Barclays Premiership and is recognition for all the hard work that Darren and his team have put in week after week this season to provide the first team with a top quality pitch. The award is part of the Barclays Premiership end of season awards, Player of the Season Manager of the Season, Golden Boot and Golden Gloves.