A RECORD breaking 217 teams played 582 matches over two days at the 19th annual Windsor Youth Tournament last weekend.

Boys and girls from all over the south of England, from Wiltshire to Kent and Hampshire to Hertfordshire, played some excellent football in the biggest Windsor tournament so far.

The addition of two all-girls sections at under-13 (U13) and U15 showcased the rise in popularity in female football.

Marvin Rixon is tournament coordinator at Windsor Youth and he told the Observer: “As I walked around the pitches, I was amazed to see the rise in the quality of youth football. Young boys and girls from the ages of seven and eight playing astonishing football and not afraid to show off their impressive skills.

“I even saw a young boy attempt a Mandzukic overhead kick, missing the target by inches.”

Mario Festa of Downley Dynamos U9s said: “Without doubt, it’s my favourite tournament of the season. It was our second time this year and we will definitely be signing up next year again.”

Royal Borough Observer:

PHOTO: A Cookham Dean player celebrates a goal against Old Windsor Tiger Blacks.

Alan Rossiter from Parkfield Youth U13s added: “We’ve been to many tournaments this year and over previous years but I have to say that the Windsor tournament was very well run.

“The referees were very good, the barrier around the pitches was also a good idea, and all the staff were a credit to the club. We will definitely aim to return next year.”

Brentham Colts U10s’ Frank Dewoter commented: “It was excellently organized and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It was our first tournament at Windsor and the boys did really well to get to the final.”

Richard Copeman of Holyport U14s added: “Despite our quarter-final penalty shoot-out heartache, we fully enjoyed the tournament and hope to return next year.”

Windsor Youth unveiled the Tony Oorloff Bench in memory of the former club secretary. The bench is placed strategically overlooking the pitches at Dedworth Manor. His widow, Mary, and son, Chris, viewed some of the games from the bench.

The club also paid tribute to Oorloff with the Tony Oorloff Friendly Games, played in the U7 and U8 sections.

Royal Borough Observer:

PHOTO: Three Windsor Ospreys Reds (red) players close down an AS Soccer Four opponent.

Windsor Tournament winners:

U9 Cup: Bracknell Town Robins, U9 Plate: Windsor Swifts Blacks, U9 Shield: Bessingby Park Rangers, U10 Cup: Eversley & California, U10 Plate: Windsor Merlins Typhoons, U10 Shield: Windsor Merlins Vulcans, U11 Cup: FC Real, U11 Plate: Windsor Eagles Blacks, U11 Shield: Old Windsor Tigers Reds, U12 Cup: Hillingdon Abbots Hawks, U12 Plate: Sandgate Youth Whites, U12 Shield: George Green Juniors, U13 Cup: Parkfield Youth, U13 Plate: Harlesdon Hawks, U13 Shield: Windsor Gladiators, U13 Girls Mini-League: 1st Place: Wokingham & Emmbrook Sumas, U14 Cup: Ruislip Rangers, U14 Plate: Ashridge Park, U14 Shield: Windsor Swallows Royals Black, U15 Cup: Windsor Old Boys, U15 Plate: Slough Central, U15 Shield: Liphook United Devils, U15 Girls Cup: Colne United, U15 Girls Plate: Harvester FC Yellow, U15 Girls Shield: Wycombe Pearls, U16 Cup: Windsor Mudlarks Yellows, U16 Plate: Windsor Mudlarks Blacks, U16 Shield: Windsor Mudlarks Reds

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