June has arrived in spectacular fashion and with the sun shining, often followed by wind and rain, through it all, we still have Cabinteely’s Mini World Cup, a competition that’s been an annual highlight since 1989.

The tournament kicked off on Tuesday evening with over 1,000 boys and girls from the ages of 5 to 13 gathered in Kilbogget Park to meet their managers and kick off the greatest festival of football in the world.

Goals, saves, tears and cheers – everything that’s part of the beautiful game – will be on display over the next two weeks as 106 teams go head to head in honour of their adopted countries.

Like all the participants, Finbar Kavanagh has been looking forward to this year’s tournament.

“We love the Mini World Cup,” says Finbar’s mum, Olivia. “Last year was our first taking part and again, this year, I’m already amazed by the volunteers, organisation and sheer scale of the event. It’s a credit to Cabinteely FC. We’re so glad it’s finally started.”

There’s a big focus on the girls’ teams too. “I love the mini World Cup so much – even if we lose,” says ten-year-old Emma Lamb. Emma’s dad Michael agrees. “She has an absolute blast, and the rest of the girls clearly do too. The competition is so well run and it’s a great opportunity to chat with friends.”

Speaking to the Dublin Gazette, Nadine Kelly, manager of Nepal in Group N said, “To be involved in something like this its great. Not only to be part of it, but seeing so many children play the game they love and getting to coach and help them along the way is an opportunity that I’m very grateful for.

This club is really one of a kind because not many other clubs would be able to pull this off, which again is thanks to the hundreds of volunteers, but the overall impact is phenomenal not only for the club but fro bringing the community together.”

The competition’s main sponsored this year is Nissan and without them among other sponsors this event so wonderful.

The Cabinteely MWC started on Tuesday, 5 June and group games run on 7 June, 9 June, 10 June, 12 June and 14 June. Saturday, 16 June is finals day when 82 games will be played on 18 parallel pitches for 24 trophies.