As some of our region's footballers are taking on Europe at Euro 2016 - for those left behind, there is still plenty to look forward to as nominations for the MBNA Northwest Football Awards open.
And, whilst some of us might already be looking forward to next season with Pep, Jose and Jürgen; the region's football family can now look back at the successes of the season just finished, during which Burnley and Wigan sealed promotion to the Premier League and the Championship respectively; and at Wembley, Warrington's Jesse Lingard ensured the FA Cup will spend the next 12 months with Manchester United.
Entries for the prestigious MBNA Northwest Football Awards 2016 open on Monday, June 13, giving the Northwest football family the opportunity to again recognise unsung heroes, like the hard-working and dedicated staff involved in community initiatives plus businesses and medical professionals associated with the game.
Even members of the media are given chance to make their own headlines for a change, with the much sought after Football Journalist of the Year - last year scooped by Tony Barrett of The Times
The award categories open for nominations, are as follows:
ο Community Club of the Year- Premier League
ο Community Club of the Year- All other Leagues
ο Community Initiative of the Year
ο Business and Professional Services to Football
ο Best Club Marketing/ Sponsorship & Engagement
ο Fabrice Muamba Award for Outstanding Contribution to Football Medicine and Science
ο Football Journalist of the Year
ο Unsung Hero
Entries close on Friday, August 19 and the finalists will be announced at the end of September.
Over the coming months, thousands of fans - from the elite of the game to grassroots fans will vote for a succession of major honours, including:
ο Women's Player of the Year
ο Player of the Year - Premier League
ο Player of the Year - Championship
ο Player of the Year - League One
ο Player of the Year - League Two
ο Player of the Year - National League
ο Rising Star
ο Women's Rising Star
All awards, including the coveted Lifetime Achievement accolade, will be announced and presented at the MBNA Northwest Football Awards at The Point, Emirates Old Trafford on Monday, November 14.
The MBNA Northwest Football Awards was launched to celebrate the region's brightest and best in the game.
The Awards pay tribute to and recognise those who have achieved footballing excellence both on and off the field in the 2015/2016 season.
The Awards team works closely with expert sector judges, the biggest names in the regions business community as well as the Northwest Clubs to deliver a high profile and memorable occasion which has become a must-attend for the Northwest footballing fraternity.
The beautiful game continues to play an increasingly important role in contributing to both the Northwest's identity as a region as well as its economy. For suppliers to the football industry, the 2015/2016 season provided further growth and new exciting partnerships.
Laura Wolfe, managing director of Wolfe and the MBNA Northwest Football Awards said: “The awards continue to grow in profile and stature and alongside our high-profile partners we are delighted to announce that nominations for 2016 are open.
“We anticipate our strongest ever set of nominations, with all award categories set to be hotly contested after the Northwest once again proved to be the footballing hotbed of the UK.
“There is always great excitement about who scored the best goal and interest in the global superstars and high profile football clubs in our region.
“However these awards go beyond recognising just the obvious and actually we uncover some of the untold stories of those unsung heroes who haven't yet had the recognition they deserve, be it fans or people working within the North West football industry and the communities that benefit as a result of their work.”
MBNA Head of Partner Management and Sponsorships Patricia Brassil Poole said: “MBNA has had a long-standing association with football and in a part of the country where football is so much part of the fabric, we understand the importance of honouring those hard-working coaches, players, staff and volunteers who have a real impact on our communities and our lives.
“Whether you follow Manchester United, Chester FC, Liverpool Ladies, whoever your team is, your passion is the same and the North West Football Awards is an opportunity to thank those who have made a difference, on or off the pitch, during last season.”