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Poppleton Boys Festival of Football Gala a huge success
10:21am Saturday 19th May 2012 in Junior football
Hamilton Panthers Blues players celebrate a goal at the Poppleton Boys Festival of Football Gala at Millfield Lane
THE second Poppleton Boys Festival of Football Gala proved a huge success, attracting 72 teams from across the country.
Sides from under-7s to U12s took part in the one-day tournament at Millfield Lane, in York.
U7s and U8s took part in fair play games, while the U9s to U12s competed for a cup at their respective levels, with all players enjoying the new café and changing rooms at the clubhouse.
Poppleton’s own teams triumphed in the U9s and U11s sections, while Otley Town were victorious in the U10s competition and Bishopthorpe in the U12s.
Teams who were knocked out in the early stages were given a second chance to win silverware as they competed for the plate.
Organiser Neil Fairclough said: “I believe tournaments should be for every team and if they get knocked out early on we should give them a chance to carry on and win something, not just leave if they finish bottom.
“For example, last year Poppleton Panthers U11s did not win a league game all season and were bottom after their gala cup games but they won the plate at the competition so that was nice for them.”
With all age categories filled and all teams turning up on the day, Fairclough revealed his delight at the tournament’s success.
“It’s taken five months to organise so for every team to turn up on the day is amazing,” he said.
“We’re getting a good reputation now and it shows when teams want to turn up and play.”
The gala was originally scheduled to take place over two days but was reduced to one after York City reached the FA Trophy final at Wembley.
“Luckily everyone was happy to alter the tournament and didn’t have prior commitments that stopped them coming at slightly different times,” Fairclough said.
“It turned out to be a fantastic day.”
And he added that he has been pleased by the response from participating teams.
“I have had a lot of positive feedback so I am delighted,” he said. “A lot of teams said it was the best tournament they’ve been to, which is great to hear.”
Fairclough added that the tournament could not go ahead without sponsorship, this year provided by local company Pavers Shoes, and he expressed his thanks for their support.
“We hope to have another tournament next year and just keep growing,” he said.
“But we couldn’t do that without all the help we get from the sponsors and this year Pavers Shoes have been great.
“It was a fantastic event for the kids.”