Aston Villa win Barclays Premier League Grounds Team of the Year

Villa have landed the prestigious Barclays Premier League Grounds Team of the Year award. And the playing surface has been marked as one of the best in the Premier League for 2015-16.

Grounds manager Paul Mytton proudly held the trophy, along with his deputy Karl Prescott, and assistant groundsmen Matt Jupp and Ian Hipkiss.

"We are overjoyed to get this award," said Mytton. "It's a reward for the amount of time, dedication and attention to detail from the team, for which I would like to thank them.

"Throughout my time here we have consistently been in the top five and highly commended for the playing surface at Villa Park. This is an achievement in itself but to actually win the trophy is fantastic."

Having missed out last season to joint winners Arsenal and Manchester United, this year's award is all the more commendable having also hosted back-to-back high profile fixtures for the Rugby World Cup in September.

"That was a tall order as we had two derbies against West Brom and Birmingham City in the week leading into these fixtures" said Mytton.

"To turn the pitch around from rugby to football and back, the lads had to pull out all the stops. With the assistance from our team at Bodymoor Heath, we were able to deliver, and we received positive comments throughout the World Cup weekend."

Points are initially awarded at each Premier League home fixture by both the referee and the match delegate.

Judging is then carried out on the top five by Dr Stephen Baker of the Sports Turf Research Institute.

The final decision is then made by the playing surfaces committee.

Run by the Playing Surfaces Committee in conjunction with the STRI, the awards recognise the importance of the quality of pitches for professional football, encourage all ground staff to produce high-quality pitches and acknowledge the head groundsmen and their staff who produce the best playing surfaces.

Barclays Premier League Grounds Teams of the Year
Winners: Aston Villa (grounds team led by Paul Mytton)
Highly commended: Arsenal, Leicester City, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur