Last month it was announced that EFL stars of the past, present and future would once again gather for an evening to celebrate excellence both on and off the pitch, with the 13th annual EFL Awards ceremony confirmed to take place on Sunday 15 April at The Hilton Hotel on Park Lane, London. New for 2018 is a Special Recognition Award which will celebrate the EFL’s continued commitment to Youth Development. From the 2018/19 season, EFL Clubs will be required to name at least one Club developed player on each team sheet and this award will recognise a star-studded Club Developed XI, showcasing the best players that have been ‘born and raised’ in the EFL.
Awards will be given out across 12 categories, and the EFL has announced a number of leading experts from the football and media industry that will join the judging panel. Football on 5 presenters Colin Murray and Caroline Barker will be joined by Sky Sports and EFL Matters presenter David Prutton, alongside Bianca Westwood, Don Goodman, Gary Weaver and Scott Minto, also of Sky Sports.
Fan Engagement expert Mark Bradley also joins the panel alongside Kick it Out Chief Executive Roisin Wood, former referee and PGMOL representative Chris Foy and Anwar Uddin from the Football Supporters’ Federation. Completing the selected panel is LFE Chief Executive Alan Sykes, EFL Director of Youth Development Dave Wetherall, EFL Trust Director of Operations Mike Evans and former player-turned The Times columnist Gregor Robertson.
Confirmed judging panel for EFL Awards 2018:
Bianca Westwood - Sky Sports Reporter
Mark Bradley - Fan Experience Company
Chris Foy - Former Referee, PGMOL
Dave Wetherall - EFL Head of Youth Development
Anwar Uddin - Football Supporters' Federation
Alan Sykes - LFE Chief Executive
Mike Evans - EFL Trust Director of Operations
David Prutton - Sky Sports Presenter
Roisin Wood - Kick it Out Chief Executive
Caroline Barker - Football on 5 Presenter
Gregor Robertson - Former Footballer and The Times journalist
Colin Murray - Football on 5 Presenter
Gary Weaver - Sky Sports Commentator
Scott Minto - Former footballer and Sky Sports Presenter
Meanwhile, the six regional winners of the Checkatrade Community Club of the Year have been announced. They were selected for innovative and groundbreaking work across inclusion, community engagement, education and health. The regional winners are listed below, alongside details of their showcase community projects.
Yorkshire and North East – Middlesbrough
Stepping Up – a school based programme to prepare children for the social and emotional aspects of moving from primary school to secondary.
North West – Blackburn Rovers
Social Inclusion Football League – a unique competition designed for people with requirements in mental health, substance misuse, social isolation and homelessness.
Midlands – Derby County
Rams in Kenya – aiding education, development and sustainability for hundreds of children at St Trizah, Ungana and Jubilee schools in Nakuru, Kenya.
London – Charlton Athletic
Charlton Athletic Community Trust Invicta FC - the first professional football club trust in the UK to establish and launch a dedicated LGBT-friendly football team
South East – Portsmouth
Wheels for All – an inclusive community cycling scheme that offers adapted bikes and personal support to local adults and children with physical and learning disabilities.
South West – Bristol City
Youth Council – the club worked with young people from various communities to create a youth council to design and deliver community engagement programmes for people in the region.
The six clubs will be honoured tomorrow, Monday 12 March, in the House of Commons as the best performing Club Community Trusts in the country, with EFL Chairman Ian Lenagan, Sports Minister Tracey Crouch and host Colin Murray all taking to the stage at the ceremony. The overall winner of the 2018 Checkatrade Community Club of the Year Award will be announced at the EFL Awards.
Shaun Harvey, EFL Chief Executive, said: “EFL clubs are based in the heart of communities up and down the country, often in some of the most disadvantaged areas. It’s important that we recognise the clubs that have gone that extra mile to make a real difference to the community they represent, which is why the announcement of the Checkatrade Community Club of the Year regional winners is a fitting tribute to the excellent and innovative work that takes place. I’m proud to say that all clubs, not just the winners, are at the forefront of helping to tackle some of the biggest issues in society by using the power of the club badge.
“In 2018 we celebrate 10 years of the EFL Trust and, in the past decade, our clubs have played an instrumental part in transforming their local community, from helping to reduce crime, improving health and inspiring education. Hundreds of thousands of people have been, and will continue to be, positively influenced by the work undertaken in this area seven days a week, 365 days a year.”
The EFL received strong submissions from a wide range of clubs with the panel marking the applications on social impact and their showcase projects.
The six regional winners were selected by an independent judging panel including The Times’ Chief Football Writer, Henry Winter, Team Leader for Faith Engagement, Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Hilary Patel, Director of CSR at The PFA, John Hudson, Sky Sports’ Michael Weightman and the EFL Trust Director of Operations, Mike Evans.