Over the last fortnight Boreham Wood FC’s Community Department has hosted its first annual Youth Football Tournaments sponsored by local insurance firm Cardif Pinnacle at our Meadow Park home, welcoming over 60 local youth teams from all across Hertfordshire and North London.
The tournaments were opened up by the Under 9’s competition, with 20 teams vying for the title to be crowned the 2016 Under 9’s Champions. After a fiercely contested group stages, quarter finals and semi finals. Maccabi London Lions met Bedwell Rangers Tigers in the final who had beaten tournament favourites LAFA in the semi finals. Both teams showed great desire and quality throughout the entire tournament, however Bedwell Rangers ran out of steam as local side Maccabi London Lions were victorious with a 2-0 win. Player of the tournament was awarded to Daniel Jacobs of Maccabi London Lions who as goalkeeper conceded just 1 goal all tournament.
The Under 11’s tournament followed that same day with an extremely competitive line-up. Stevenage Adders, who went unbeaten throughout their group with 3 wins and 1 draw from their 4 games, met another unbeaten side Omonia Youth Gold in a match up of the heavy weights in the final. The two sides were inseparable and the game went to penalties. Omonia Youth Gold had two penalties in the shootout to seal victory but Adders goalkeeper pulled off heroics to take the shootout to sudden death. Adders were revitalised and clinched the title on penalties 6-5. Player of the tournament went to Lovell Davies-Thomas who finished tournament top goal scorer with 7 goals as Stevenage Adders ran riot in the group stages.
The next week we welcomed teams for the Under 10’s and Under 12’s categories. Under 10’s category was won by North London side Whetstone Wanderers Tigers who were a class act throughout the tournament. They narrowly beat finalists Croxley Green Blacks 1-0 who overcame tournament favourites Hinton & Finchley Revolution in the semi final. Player of the tournament was awarded to midfield playmaker Alfie Hemington who scored the winning goal in the final with a spectacular long-range free kick.
The tournaments were topped in real style in the Under 12’s age group. Maccabi London Lions and Belmont United who were the top two sides in the Watford Friendly League Red Division over the past few years, firstly met in the group stages and played out a hard thought 1-1 draw. However this meant they would avoid each other throughout the knockout stages until the final and as expected both reached the final. In a stalemate that saw both teams effectively nullify each other, the final would be decided by penalties. Maccabi London Lions ended up victorious with a 6-5 penalty shootout win in sudden death. Player of the tournament and possibly the best talent that graced the pitches across the two weekends was awarded to Dylan Phillips, who showed ability beyond his age group at times.
Community Manager Charlie Hunter commented “I am delighted with how the tournaments went and how they were received by the teams, who we have had great feedback from. Whether that be the organisation of the event, the quality of the site and the programme, the helpfulness of the staff, the standard of refereeing etc. So I must thank all the staff at the Club who gave up two of their Sunday’s to work tirelessly to put on a great event.
“The little touches we added with the Champions League music for the handshakes before the semi finals and finals, as well as the way we did the presentation with a stage, we are the champions music and players being called out individually to receive their medals are the little things that made the tournaments special, and that’s what makes the staff and the Club so great, they all go that extra mile.
“Most of the players, managers, coaches and parents wouldn’t be aware, but some of the helpers and referees come in the shape of our first team manager and players. Luke Garrard who is our first team manager refereed the matches and gave out the awards, and first team players Ricky Shakes and Josh Coldicott-Stevens also refereed.”
Hunter concluded “I am so pleased to have put on an event that everyone has found enjoyable. These tournaments will now be something that is in our Community programme on a yearly basis. We are already looking forward welcoming the teams in 2017.
“Lastly, I have to thank our tournament sponsor Cardif Pinnacle. Without their generousity and support we wouldn’t have been able to put on the event to the standard we did. A huge thank you to Sarah Potter and the team at Cardif Pinnacle.”