It’s been a busy season for the Walton & Hersham FC Juniors and SkillZone Soccer professional coaches as they have seen their teams and youth academy grow and go from strength to strength.

However, the recent inaugural spring tournament was the pinnacle of the young players season as 24 teams competed across U7’s, U8’s and under 9 age groups, with just under 200 young boys and girls taking part.

The event, held at Ashley C of E Primary School, was organized by a team of dedicated club volunteers, providing supportive parents a BBQ, bar, cake stall and raffle, whilst SkillZone Soccer assisted in the running of the tournament itself

Providing coaches as referees for all of the matches and offering guidance and encouragement to players SkillZone showed why they are a true partner to the relatively young football club- now in its fourth year.

Parent Helen Bedford, whose son and daughter play in 2 age groups said “It is great to see so many young people enjoying sport, they are getting professional coaching at the same time! The tone of the event was perfect and the atmosphere all day was brilliant.”

Pat Kirby, Head Coach from SkillZone Soccer reflected on the day saying “we a group we are passionate about teaching players respect, sportsmanship and how to conduct themselves properly. As referees today we saw this coming though the local teams and we are really proud of them all.  Its great testament to the club’s managers – mainly dad’s - that they kept the players focused in the warm weather and reminded everyone that is it taking part that counts.” He concluded “every child went home with a medal and a smile on their face.”

A highlight of the afternoon for the Under 9 players was the attendance of Sean Davis who has played for Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham and Portsmouth to present players with their medals and trophies, he said “I thought for a first tournament it ran really smoothly and it was great to see the youngsters having fun, competing hard and enjoying the warm sunny atmosphere.”

Article supplied by Tracey Blandford