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Forest Green trial for Hitchin flyer Burke

By PeteOrchard  |  Posted: November 13, 2012

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FOREST Green have invited Hitchin Town forward Zak Burke to train with them this week.

Contrary to reports elsewhere, ex-Stevenage man Burke has not joined Rovers on loan but has earned a trial after impressing in the Southern League.

Manager Dave Hockaday said: "We are always on the lookout for players and Zak will spend the week with us.

"He is someone we've known about for a while but he is not on loan and he has not signed for us."

Hockaday's side been drawn at home to AFC Totton in the first round of the FA Carlsberg Trophy.

Rovers will host the Southern League Premier Division outfit on Saturday, November 24, while neighbours Shortwood United know they will be also be at home if they can overcome Merthyr Town in tonight's third qualifying round replay.

Victory for John Evans' men this evening will set up a home tie against Blue Square Bet South side Tonbridge Angels.

Meanwhile, Forest Green groundsman Stewart Ward has been shortlisted for an industry award after being selected from a group more than 200 other groundskeepers across the country.

The IOG (Institute of Groundsmanship) Industry-wide Annual Awards recognise the elite of the country's groundskeepers across all types of public and private sports venues.

Since arriving at the club in August 2010 Ward has overseen major improvements to the pitch at The New Lawn, producing the slick, fast-passing surface requested by Hockaday 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, particularly considering the massive changes that have been implemented over the past year.

"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."

The winner will be announced at a ceremony held at York Racecourse on December 6.

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