THE Eastbourne Borough Youth Football Club annual six-a-side tournament came home last weekend when it was held for the first time at Priory Lane.
Around 1,000 young players from Sussex and Kent took part in two days of quality football with the finalists making their way from the players dressing rooms, down the tunnel and onto the Priory Lane pitch to the waiting crowds and to the sound of ‘Sussex by the Sea’ for the ultimate tournament experience.
The group games were held on the outside training pitches which following a development programme by both the senior and youth football clubs were in fantastic condition for playing on.
During the day special guests made appearances including senior chairman Len Smith, Borough legend Matt Crabb and the radiant Borough Mascot, Sammy Sunshine, who was very popular with the little ones as well as some of the mums.
Among other attractions were the Eastbourne Little Kickers who were invited to give demonstrations of their football skills to a delighted audience.
Also enjoying the non-competitive sessions were teams of under 7s and under 8s who earned participation medals to commemorate their efforts.
Under 9: Eastbourne Town
Under 10: Patcham United
Under 11: Eastbourne Town
Under 12: Ratton Rangers
Under 13: Borough Youth
Under 14: Borough Youth
Under 15: Borough Youth
Borough Youth chairman Allan Staples said “ A huge effort has been put into making this a prestigious event and it has paid off.
“The feedback we have been receiving is overwhelming and teams are already registering for next year.
“We fully expect the standard to be even higher next year when word gets around that we offer great facilities and a fantastic experience.
“This is not just a great event for the club but also for the town.
“My personal thanks go to all those who helped over the weekend and the team of organisers lead by Guy Pearson who put it all together.
“We also greatly appreciate the assistance of Len and his team of volunteers for allowing us to use the facilities giving the players such a fantastic opportunity”.
Among the highlights of the weekend was the appearance of former Borough boss Gary Wilson who stood in to coach his son’s Under 13 squad to victory and the Under 15s beating Sussex County Champions Saltdean on the way to their final.
There was a great family atmosphere over the two days with many experiencing the facilities the senior club has to offer for the first time and many stating they would be returning in the new season to see the seniors set out on their new campaign and were thrilled that children can watch for just £1.
More information about this event and the club is available at www.ebyfc.net