Next stop Wembley
After 12 heats in six weeks, featuring 140 teams and three penalty shootouts, the list of finalists for the second Indesit National Mini Soccer Cup is now complete.
Run in partnership with FourFourTwo at Powerleague venues across the country, The Cup showcases the skill, passion and fun of five-a-side youth football, as well providing a great day out for the family.
This was all in evidence at the final heat in Slough last weekend, when a fiercely-contested under-10s tournament more than made up for the lack of an under-8s competition.
In a seven-team, round-robin group format, FFT witnessed just how much it meant to those involved, with tears from a Windsor Typhoons player who was forced to come off through injury, a tug of war between two players from the same team over the right to take a penalty, and a feisty encounter between Burnham Whites 1 and usual clubmates Burnham Whites 2.
Even Windsor Jaguars, who finished bottom of the pile, celebrated each of their two goals as if they’d won the final itself.
In the end, though, Lisbon Juniors ran out worthy winners, beating Langley Juniors 4-0 in the de facto final, with Ewan Farrell, who scored an incredible 21 goals in six games, again to the fore.
The Manchester outfit had lost in the final of the Trafford heat, having led 3-1 with just minutes remaining, but were determined to make it to Wembley, so had headed south for a second bite of the cherry.
They will be joined on Finals Day (November 21) at the Powerleague Centre in the shadow of the famous arch by 11 other under-10s teams, including Whitley Bay Boys Club (North Shields) and Academy De Skillz (Trafford), who emerged from bumper 12-team tournaments – proof that the North-East and Manchester remain British footballing hotbeds.
In the under-8s category, Mount Carmel came through a stiff, 10-team Watford regional – and a penalty shootout in the final – to take their place at Wembley, where 10 other teams await.
All the regional winners will do battle on the Wembley Powerleague Centre’s state-of-the-art 5G pitches. As well as being kitted out for the day, each lucky team will receive a tour of the famous nearby stadium, including the dressing rooms, be supplied with food and drink throughout the day, and be given the chance to win Indesit washing machines, among other great prizes.
Friends and family of participants will also be able to take part in football challenges, such as kicking a ball into an Indesit washing machine! But, of course, the main prize is the Indesit National Mini Soccer Cup trophy – and it’s now within touching distance.
For more information on the 2015 tournament so far as well as further details about Finals Day, visit www.indesit.co.uk/minisoccer