London, England: Daniel Madsen is the latest winner of the Jacobsen New Groundsman of the Year award.
Turf equipment manufacturer Jacobsen and local dealer Svenningsens co-sponsored the prize that included a trip to work alongside the groundsmen at St George’s Park, England’s national team training facility, and a tour of Wembley Stadium with Head Groundsman Karl Standley.
Madsen is the Grounds Manager at Telia PARKEN Stadium, home of FC Copenhagen and the Danish national football team. Having grown up as an FC Copenhagen fan, Madsen has now spent 10 years at the club that is regarded as the most successful in the history of Danish football.
Madsen has played a crucial role in preparing the pitch for every game played at the stadium, which includes Champions League fixtures, the most recent being the visit of the reigning Premier League champions, Leicester City.
The Groundsman Association Denmark (GDA) nominated Madsen for the award as a result of the pitch being voted as ‘Denmark’s best pitch’ two years in a row. This accolade is achieved by the captain of the opposing team rating the pitch from 1-5, with the highest- ranking pitch at the end of the season winning the award.
On winning the Jacobsen New Groundsman of the Year award, Madsen said: “It was a huge privilege to just be nominated for the award. My peers are the ones who voted for me to win, so it really means a lot to me that my work has been recognised in this way. I have to also acknowledge the work of my team. There are only three of us, and between us, we maintain the training ground and the stadium, so there is a lot of work to do! The stadium is multi-use so as well as preparing the pitch for football, we also have to prepare for concerts and other sporting events, which comes with its own challenges.
“I hope to be able to continue the good work in the years to come. I am particularly looking forward to the challenge of preparing the pitch for the 2020 European Championships, which marks the 50th anniversary of the competition. Telia PARKEN Stadium will host three group games and one round of 16 game. I hope to be able to make it to Wembley for the final once my work is done!”
Commenting on the prize of working alongside FA Head Groundsman Alan Ferguson and his team at St George’s Park and the trip to Wembley Stadium, Madsen said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in England. I have been blown away at the size of St George’s Park, and I have also been surprised how open it is to the wider community. For example, I have been told that Burton Albion train here every day and I have seen the Australian national rugby league team here as well. It’s fantastic to see a world-class facility that is so versatile and well-used.
Jacobsen is an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.