Colts tournament proves a huge hit

Randlay Colts Juniors Football Club can be extremely proud of their annual junior summer football tournament, reckons secretary Paul Chadderton.

Colts tournament proves a huge hit

Teams from as far away as Flint, Oswestry, Wolverhampton, Stoke-on-Trent and Stone all made their way to the Telford-based club as more than 1,000 children were involved in the action.

The event catered for juniors from the Under-7 to Under-14 age groups.

The Under-7s to Under-12s were seven-a-side games, while the Under-13s and Under-14s played nine-a-side.

Chadderton said: "It's massive for us. It takes a lot of hard hours' preparation.

"But we believe we are one of the biggest clubs and tournaments in Telford. We have 15 teams from Under-6s to Under-15s – about 200 kids.

"We only have a committed band of a dozen or so volunteers, so it can be hard work.

"It is extremely rewarding, though."

The New Saints entered an academy team in every age group, with moderate success. The secretary revealed that academy sides are not generally permitted to enter and was delighted with the progress that Randlay are making – despite having no winners in this year's tournament.

He added: "The genuine comments we've received have been much appreciated.

"You always hope to hear responses, otherwise you may have done something wrong!

"I've had private emails and messages on Facebook and Twitter that have been most complimentary, some saying we're the best tournament that has been on this year.

"We're very proud as a football club and as a group of volunteers that we're able to create something like this for the community and for people even further afield."

The Colts were well-supported on their big day, with local MP Lucy Allan and mayor and mayoress of Telford and Wrekin, Leon and Barbara Murray, all in attendance.

Allan handed out awards and medals on the Saturday, while the mayor and mayoress were present on Sunday to receive a £200 cheque from the club to go to the Mayor's charities.

The Telford club have also recently raised £300 for an ex-player's family to travel to Disneyland Paris after the mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

"These events are very significant for us. It's a great opportunity to give the kids a chance to mix with players from other areas," added Chadderton.

"From a club perspective, it's our main fundraising opportunity. We're not a profit-run club so it's our chance to sustain ourselves. So there are positives in more than one aspect. They're definitely one of the highlights of our season.

"Next year is our club's 40th anniversary, so we are hoping the tournament can be even bigger and better."

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