Hundreds of kids enjoy football in the sun at Exeter City’s annual 6-a-side tournament
165 teams, over 1300 kids and two glorious days of sunshine descended on Feniton this weekend, for Exeter City’s 11th annual 6-a-side youth tournament.
The event, jointly hosted by the Exeter City’s Academy and their Football in the Community Charitable Trust, saw hundreds of youngsters enjoying a festival of football over two sun-kissed days at Feniton Football Club. The three pitches were quartered up into 6-a-side playing fields, as the youngsters from age groups ranging from under-7 to under-15 took part in Devon’s showpiece youth tournament of the summer.
The tournament also acted as a fundraiser for the Academy, who continued to supply several debutants for the Grecians’ first-team during the 2012/13 season – and who also nurtured local boy Dean Moxey (who was promoted to the Premier League with Crystal Palace on Bank Holiday Monday) from a young age.
Silverware was on offer for each of the age groups, except for the youngest two. Instead for the under-7s and under-8s, certificates of participation were instead given to all involved to ensure that the day was about developing core skills and having fun rather than making the event overly competitive.
Grecians left-back Craig Woodman – who is from just down the road in Tiverton – was at the event to support his boy, while several of City’s apprentices from their under-18 side were helping out as referees in the tournament. Exeter’s newest pro – central midfielder Matt Grimes – was one of the officials, providing all the inspiration the youngsters needed in realising their dreams of one day becoming a professional footballer.
The event was supported by an army of volunteers, the Supporters’ Trust, the Red Army junior supporters’ club, fans groups including the East Devon Grecians, Exeter City staff, and parents and coaches of the teams.
Exeter City’s Youth Commercial Manager David Evans said: “We can’t express our thanks enough to those that assisted us in running another fabulous youth tournament. SPS Marketing helped us to host the event as our sponsors, and we’ve had dozens of people that have given up their weekend to run the food stalls, man the car-park, mark out the pitches and generally pitch in wherever they’ve been able to.
“It’s been a fine festival of football, bathed in sunshine, and there are some really talented young footballers across all the age groups. But most of all, the kids who took part were beaming, regardless of whether they’d won or lost – and that makes it all worthwhile.”