Cabinteely Football Club’s annual Mini World Cup competition came to an end at the weekend as 12 teams were named world champions.
Martin O’Neill’s squad may have missed out on World Cup action, however, the stars of the future had it all to play for.
The tournament, which has been running for 29 years, features football enthusiasts from all over Dublin.
Over 1,100 boys and girls, from the ages of five to 13, togged out for the two week tournament which took place in Kilbogget Park in Cabinteely.
Speaking to the Dublin Gazette, Mini World Cup committee member Fergal Young said, “The whole club are delighted with how the competition went and the feedback we got from volunteers, players, parents and sponsors was just magic”.
More than 400 games were played throughout the competition.
“They were 15 minutes a half with nine, seven and five-a-side games which gave each child the opportunity to play as much as they could.
“The weekend games were the biggest. 90 games were played one day – 106 teams, 139 managers,1974 goals scored, 44 sponsors and 3,000 burgers sold that shows how big it was.
“It has really become a community event provided by Cabinteely FC and it’s our biggest fundraiser. We really would have been lost without our volunteers because without them this wouldn’t have happened.
“The atmosphere around the club the days it was on was electric. Spirits were high both on the pitch and sidelines. The whole ethos is football for all.
“This year we had four groups dedicated to the girls. It’s an all inclusive competition but unfortunately, it’s the first year that we had no Special Olympics section as the players couldn’t commit due to their Olympic games being on at the same time.”
Aja Chambers (13) from Sallynoggin said although her team didn’t win the coveted World Cup trophy, she still thoroughly enjoyed it.
“It’s always fun participating in the Mini World Cup, you make new friends and you get to play against your friends too.
“I usually play competitively so it definitely brings the fun aspect into it. I’ve played in this tournament for eight years.
“This is my last year unfortunately. My team didn’t win but we really did have a good laugh which is what the tournament is about fun, football and showcasing your skill.”