Preston Athletic YFC held their annual football festival over the weekend of the 13th &14th June which proved to be just as successful as those held over the previous years. Like any event on this scale the amount of planning and organisation is immense and if not for those volunteers who were willing to gave up even more of their free time and input, events like these would never get of the ground.
Everything from setting out the pitch, organising the tombola/raffle stall, putting up the gazebo which housed the barbecue and stalls which were laden with a wide selection of snacks and drinks (non- alcoholic of course). The hard work getting everything up and ready for the arrival of the teams would have gone un-noticed by those entering Middleshot Square to the wonderful aroma wafting from the barbecue.
The weekend would see the Saturday comprising of 4-side, 5-aside and 7-aside fixtures spread throughout the day. The 08’s & 09’s kicked the days activities of around 9.30am when they played each other in 4-aside games which ended with a presentation, each player who had taken part was presented with a medal to remember their day by.
After the 4-aside teams had vacated the pitch the 4 aside goals were quickly replaced with the new style 5-aside goals ready for the 07’s to take to the pitch around 11am. The 5-aside game which has been added to the SFA player pathway is a very new concept being tried out by teams in the South of Edinburgh and down the East coast although it has been played for a while by teams in West Lothian.
Teams from the home club, Liberton United, Bonnyrigg Rose, Dalkeith, Fernieside, Loanhead, Lothian Colts and Hillfield Swifts were all represented in the 07’s section and seemed to have grasped the new format pretty well. The game now allowed for a permanent goalkeeping position which would seem only logical before moving into the 7-aside format. Like the age group previously each player who had taken part was presented with a medal to remember their day by.
Next it was the turn of the 05’s age group who again after a quick turn around, seeing the 5-aside goals being replaced by the standard 7-aside goals ready for the next instalment. The 7-aside teams were split into two groups with the winners and runner ups of each group proceeding to a semi final. Group A included teams from Preston, Edina Hibs, Lasswade and Beechwood whilst teams representing Preston, Tranent and Penicuik made up Group B. Unfortunately a second Edina Hibs team had to pull out on the day leaving Group B with only three teams.
After two very competitive group sections, both Preston Athletic sides along with Edina Hibs and Tranent Colts progressed to the semi finals. Unfortunately for the host club, both their teams succumbed to defeats at the semi final stage at the hands of Edina Hibs and Tranent Colts respectively, with Edina Hibs coming out on top defeating Tranet Colts 3-0 in the final.
The volunteers at Preston Athletic should give themselves a huge pat on the back as they made sure the day ran like clockwork with the turn around between each age groups fixtures going very smoothly. A visit to the barbecue tent was needed on numerous occasions throughout the day for the roving reporter, not only for one of the delicious burgers but for a heat on what was a very cold day in June.
Once everyone had left after a great day of football it was all hands to the pump to start the job of clearing everything away to get ready for the Sunday. Everyone heeded the call and many hands made light work although it always seems to take half the time to take things down than it did putting them up.
Day two was a bit of a quieter affair with Preston Athletic's 1999's & 2000's playing one of games against Cockenzie Star and Musselburgh Windsor respectively.
Cockenzie Star came out on top in the 1999's clash comfortably defeating Preston Athletics U16's 4-0 in normal time.
Preston Athletics came out on top in the 2000's clash defeating Musselburgh Windsor in a five goal thriller 3-2 after scoring a extra time winner.
Both winning teams were presented with the Civic Weeks Shields for their age groups with each player received a medal for taking part on the day.
A great day that was thoroughly enjoyed by all those that attended and by those who took part on the day to bring a very well organised 2015 football festival to an end. Preston Athletic YFC would like to thank all the sponsors who helped make this event possible, the teams for attending and all those who helped in what ever capacity, large or small to make sure the weekend was a resounding success.
Here's looking forward to 2016 already.