FOREST Green groundsman Stewart Ward (pictured) has been shortlisted for a coveted industry award after being selected from a group of more than 200 other groundskeepers across the country.

The IOG (Institute of Groundsmanship) recognises the elite of the country’s groundskeepers across all types of public and private sports venues.

After arriving at the club in August 2010, Ward has overseen major improvements to the pitch at The New Lawn and making significant strides towards creating the UK’s first organic football pitch.

Ward said: “I’m really chuffed to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award.

“I want to continuously push the boundaries of what can be done and at the New Lawn I have been able do this. It is great to have my work recognised by the industry’s leading professional body.”