Footie for all over Fingal

by Gazette Reporter

The 2013 vintage of the Fingal Festival of Football took place recently in the AUL at Clonshaugh and once again proved a huge success, bringing together some 30 teams to compete in five sections.

Formerly known as the Harmony Cup, the Fingal Festival of Football is now in its 11th year and although the original competition was developed solely as a cross-border football tournament for boys only, it has over the years broadened to become an all-inclusive soccer event. Teams who took part this year came from across Fingal, Louth, Meath, Northern Ireland and Wicklow.

The five sections of the competition catered for boys, girls, Special Olympics and Irish Street Leagues, as well as a special powerchair section whose tournament was held earlier last month at the Corduff Sports Centre, which saw Malahide United’s team presented with the winner’s trophy.

Senior sports officer of Fingal County Council Niall McGuirk said: “The Fingal Festival of Football continues to grow and evolve each year. We believe this is a unique day of football with inclusiveness a key aspect.

“There has been an excellent standard of play and sportsmanship demonstrated throughout this tournament. Throughout the day all teams participated in the FAI’s Don’t Cross The Line programme where players, coaches and spectators are required to show respect to all.”

An additional element to this year’s tournament was the Under-10 and -12 girls’ football festival which was held to promote the underage girls game, with an additional 120 girls playing in a five-a-side blitz and other footballing events.

Paul Keogh, the FAI/Fingal County Council development officer, said: “There was a great turnout for the girls’ football festival. The girls could enter by forming teams, entering a club team or by individual registration, which meant that this was a fun event, with the emphasis on participation.

“As a result of the success of the Metropolitan Girls’ League under the auspices of the NDSL, this is an exciting time for girls’ football. Huge credit must go to Fingal County Council for incorporating so many strands of the game into one day.”

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