Firstly we would like to congratulate all of the teams that made their Festival Cup journey with us which started back in March and ended up with your team reaching a place in our Festival Cup Finals weekend.
The weekend was a contrast of emotions with joy and celebrations to sadness and disapointment but overall we hope every team that participated enjoyed their experience either coming away as winners or runners up, in our eyes they all played their part in a game which will be engraved in their memories for years to come.
The weekend started with sub tropical temperatures with everyone being burnt to a crisp and finishing with monsoon weather with umbrellas up at full mast! but this didnt dampen any spirits as the young children who were participating with their teams still put on a show for the hundreds of supporters present.
The Festival Cup was introduced into the Echo Junior Football League back in 2016 as a curtain closer of the season so teams could participate for some silverware after fulfilling a non competitive football campaign. Non competitiveness age bands were brought in by the FA where teams from U7 up to U11's could not play league games for points or league tables.
We renamed the Festival Cup in remembrance of our late Chairman Lawrence Segal who sadly passed away in 2019 through illness and with a full committee agreement his presence will never be forgotten as this is now the name of our competition.
We were honoured to have in attendance on Saturday, Lawrence Segal's widow Marie and the rest of his family to hand out the medals and Cups to some of our Tournament finalists as this was the first time we have completed the Festival Cup since his passing due to Covid Lockdown.
We had the privilege to host 20 Cup Finals over 2 days with 3 of those going to Penalty Shoot Outs which added to the tension of the games. Overall we hope everyone enjoyed a full packed fantastic weekend of grassroots football advertising the very high quality which we have within our league.
A very special mention has to go to the 11 young referees ( average age 16) that we appointed to the games. It was as much a day to remember for them as it was for the players and managers of teams as this was possibly their first opportunity in officiating in a cup final. We may of heard the odd "oh c'mon ref" but in whole they all did a fantastic job which we are very fortnate and very proud to have them on our League as they are definitely the future of our game.
it must be aknowledged as a huge thank you for all the hard work, time and effort that has been put in by your divisional officers behind the scenes since January organising the whole competition as it hasnt been easy?
Huge respect must go out to the Echo League Committee members who turned up over the 2 days arranging the smooth running of the whole Festival Cup Finals weekend. This Committee pulled out all the stops to make the weekend as enjoyable and succesfull as they possibly could and they now deserve a well earned rest.
See you all next season
Festival Cup Organiser