5-a-side Tournament – View from the North East

Wigan has certainly been in the football spotlight recently. Underdogs Wigan Athletic FC beat 2011-2012 Premier League champions Manchester City to win the FA Cup then went on to be relegated from the top flight. And last Saturday, Wigan Soccerdome played host to the biggest date in the football calendar: Creative Support’s annual 5-a-side football tournament.

The North East had three teams of service users and staff in the competition: Middlesbrough, Coatham Road and Innovation Court, with players from projects in areas across the region such as Whitby and Tyneside. As well as those who were playing, we had supporters who cheered on the teams and helped host our match day tuck shop selling drinks, pastries, fruit and chocolate which was very popular and helped to keep the players’ energy levels high.

The atmosphere on the day was great and all the matches I watched and played in were competitive yet friendly. The games were fast paced and packed with great goals with plenty of skill on display (though not from me playing in goal for Innovation Court!)

The North East’s teams progressed into the Shield competition. Redcar’s Coatham Road went out in the last sixteen but Middlesbrough went through to the Shield final. Their fixtures included a local derby in the quarter finals against Innovation Court which they narrowly won 8-6. If Innovation Court had a better goalkeeper things could have been very different. Middlesbrough later met Osborne Road Superstars in the Shield final. At the end of a really close and exciting match, which included a Beckham style wonder goal from their opponents, Middlesbrough won 3-2.

After the Shield final we watched the Cup final between Vic Vale Vikings and AC Alittlesilhouetteofaman (the North East really needs to come up with some cool names like that for next year) who won the match 5-2.

At the end of the day everyone gathered for the presentation ceremonies and the mood was, again, really supportive. This was a chance for people to wind down, have a well earned drink and swap match stories with people from different regions and teams.

Everyone who attended from the North East said how much they enjoyed the day and were over the moon to have brought some silverware home (it’s rare that a football team with Middlesbrough in its name wins anything). The mood on the return coach was buoyant, winning seems to make long journeys go faster, and Middlesbrough are already looking forward to defending the Shield next year!

by Mike Edwards, Development Officer     




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