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Women's Football News
Brightlingsea Regent and West Ham United Ladies were amongst the celebrated winners emerging from the annual FA Charter Standard Adult Football Festival at Marconi Sport & Leisure Club in Chelmsford over the weekend of 1st and 2nd August, preparing for the new campaign in style by remaining unbeaten to take home some County silverware.
West Hanningfield Road in Great Baddow was the place to be as two days of shortened eleven-a-side 'round robin' group matches eventually led to a grand final to decide the 2009 champions. The event was staged by the Essex County Football Association to thank their FA Charter Standard Adult Clubs for another year of high levels of coaching and administration which sees them constantly stand out as examples to others.
Male and female days were well attended by clubs from across the county, resulting in a total of over 450 players participating overall. The men took to the field on Saturday while it was the women's turn on Sunday and both contests ran almost like clockwork, a fact that brought a smile to the face of organiser and Club Development Officer, Ian Bent. He explained: "Both days ran very well and an excellent time was had by all. The main appeal to our adult clubs is a free tournament which is ideal preparation for the upcoming season, allowing them to play a series of shortened matches against a wide range of opponents who they don't usually get the opportunity to compete against."
Teams used the days as key preparation for the new campaign and took the opportunity to work on team building and match fitness, Bent adding: "This event is organised every year as a reward and benefit to all of our Charter Standard Adult Clubs who meet the criteria and promote the benefits of the award within the football environment. It is, without doubt, one of the highlights of the year, proved by the numbers of returning clubs each season. Those figures continue to grow year-on-year and our special thanks go to the venue, the referees and Young Leaders Ian Cornell and Jade Haron who assisted on both days to ensure the tournaments ran smoothly."
Fair Play Awards were on offer to those with high levels of sportsmanship and Ian promoted the importance of conduct as an asset alongside sheer ability, stating: "Special praise should go to all the teams as the spirit of the matches was exceptional and the weekend was a fantastic advert for the good of the game. Both Mauritius Sports Association UK and Beacon Hill Rovers Ladies were delighted to receive their Fair Play prizes which were incredibly close calls, again highlighting the nature of the event."
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