When you launch a new football tournament, you can never be sure how successful it is going to be.
But officials at Sidlesham FC and Chichester City Ladies have been overwhelmed by the response to twin events they held for the first time at the weekend.
The Sids’ Selsey Road Rec home ground was put to fine use on Saturday and Sunday by scores of men’s and girls’ players keen to get their football fix during the long close season.
Now both tournaments look like becoming annual events on the local sporting calendar.
On Saturday, Sidlesham ran a men’s tournament which attracted 20 teams from West Sussex and farther afield.
Then on Sunday, 19 under-12, under-14 and under-16 girls’ teams took part in a tournament put together by Chichester City Ladies FC in conjunction with Sids, the two clubs having formed close links over the past year or so.
This was the first time we have attempted anything like this but there were many players saying they’d be really keen to come back next year, so we do hope to make it an annual event.Caroline Henry-Evans
Caroline Henry-Evans, who was one of the chief organisers of the weekend, said it had exceeded expectations.
“We were delighted by how many teams were interested from the start and came along,” she said.
“The standard of football was excellent and it was all played in just the right spirit.
“This was the first time we have attempted anything like this but there were many players saying they’d be really keen to come back next year, so we do hope to make it an annual event.”
Saturday’s men’s tourn-ament was won by Ballfield, who beat ‘Portoloo’ FC in the final.
Of the 20 teams who took part, many were either completely or partially made up of players from local clubs – including Sidlesham, Angmering and Midhurst & Easebourne.
Sunday’s action involved 19 girls’ teams.
Chi City Greens won the under-12 class, with Worthing the runners-up.
At under-14 level, Billingshurst got the better of Petersfield to lift the trophy. The under-16 honours went to Southampton women, who left Chi City Whites needing to be content with the runners-up spot.
Cherelle Khassal, one of the stars of the Chi City Ladies’ team, was on hand to referee some matches and present medals.
The weekend raised £1,200 which will go towards ongoing ground improvements at Sidlesham.
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