On Saturday the first ever Spartans Festival took place at the Spartans Community Football Academy in Edinburgh. The venue played host to twelve 2004 teams who came from varying locations through-out Scotland to participate. We caught up with Kenny Cameron, Head Coach of Children’s Development at Spartans and organizer of the event for a quick Q&A.
Can you give us a bit of history behind the festival?
“This was our first attempt at organising and hosting a football festival. We have been lucky enough to have attended some excellent events across Scotland and even in Poland so we wanted to try our hand at putting on a well-run, affordable, fun football festival for our 2004 age group. Many of these boys are moving on to Pro Youth Football next season so it was a bit of a send-off for them also.”
How has the event gone this year?
“We are delighted with the festival as it was our first attempt. All the games were played in a great spirit. The kids seemed to really enjoy the day and the quality of football on show was excellent. It was pleasing to hear lots of encouragement from parents and coaches from all the teams for all the players on the day.”
How much organizing has gone on to make this happen?
“We started planning the festival around six months ago. A lot of people put a lot of time into the organising, from advertising & recruiting teams to designing the programme and medals, creating the fixtures and even the set up and put down on the day. We’d like to formally thank everyone for their efforts in making the event a success.”
How important are events such as these for the club and the local community?
“I think events like these are great for clubs as it allows them to welcome teams from outside of their local area. Boys get to know each other and their local rival teams really well. It’s refreshing for the boys to come up against different opposition and in the case of Saturday, Pro Youth teams. These games allow the boys to test themselves against top sides and it gives them an added boost when they play well against them.”
What are the plans for next year?
“As a minimum I’d like to increase the number of teams from 12 to 16. It would be great to have the whole stadium pitch here at Spartans Full of players from across Scotland and maybe even abroad. We have a link with a team in Poznan, Poland and they’ve shown a willingness to come over and take part.
If we can we’d like to host a festival weekend, with Soccer 4’s and girls football in addition to the boys 7 a side football.”
Are there any people/teams you'd like to thank for making this possible?
“We’d like to thank all the teams who took part on the day. Every coach & every player was a credit to their club. It was how football should be. Competitive, respectful and most importantly fun. I’d also like to take the time out to thank our Sponsors this year, Advanced Roofing, who have been long-time supporters of our 2004 squad.”
The teams involved were;
Group 1:Spartans Xavi,Celtic A, AM Soccer Club, Hibernian FC, Hutchison Vale, and Blackburn United.
Group 2:Spartans Iniesta, Celtic B, Longniddry Villa, AC Oxgangs, Inverkeithing Hillfeild Swifts and Leith Athletic.
YFS Highlights Video: