A non-league football boss has picked up a ‘Manager of the Month’ award – despite serving a stadium ban.
Hayden Bird of Kingstonian FC, south-west London, who play in the seventh-tier Isthmian Premier Division, has seen his side make an unbeaten start to their campaign.
They have scored nine goals and conceded just two to win four out of four – but the boss has not been on the touchline due to a stadium ban from the FA.
But organisers of the Isthmian Premier Division, run under the auspices of England’s football governing body, decided to nominate Bird for August's ‘Manager of the Month’ award.
A statement on Kingstonian's website reads: "Congratulations to Hayden Bird, Jamie Howell, Kevin D'Arcy and all of the Kingstonian management team, as Hayden has been nominated as the Vita Risk Solutions Premier Division Manager of the Month for August 2021.
"Despite the logistical problem of not being allowed into a stadium thanks to a "disagreement" with the Football Association, Hayden's work and organisation helped K's to a four match winning streak to begin the season, with wins coming against Haringey Borough and Hornchurch at home, whilst Bishop's Stortford and Corinthian-Casuals were defeated away."
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When the news was shared on the club's social media channels, fans were in stitches at the bizarre situation.
"A manager getting a 'manager of the month' award for a month where he was serving a stadium ban is great. Vintage non-league," one user said.
Another, a supporter of the seventh-tier club, commented: "I mean who else was going to win it?"
While a third joked that Bird should not have been awarded the honour.
"Hayden’s frauded this," the Kingstonian supporter said.
"Not even managed a league game yet."
Bird is into his second season as manager of Kingstonian, having moved from Merstham two years ago.
And the Isthmian League's website described the 'Manager of the Month' award for the suspended boss as 'much deserved'.
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