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Increased excitement for futsal cup format

FUTSAL fever was in full effect again on Saturday during the second date of this season’s South West Youth Development Futsal League.

Academy sides from Bristol Rovers, Exeter City, Plymouth Argyle, Southampton Academy Bath and Torquay United joined youngsters from host club Saints Southwest to take part in an exciting knockout format.

The Sports Hub at Paignton Academy hosted the event once again, which pitted some of the South West’s best Under-9 and Under-10 footballers up against each other.

“The first date was a typical league format with a normal points system for wins, draws and losses,” recalled event organiser Adam Hayman.

“This time the event was a competitive cup format. There were two groups of five teams which then went into knockout stages. This format was particularly exciting given the World Cup at the moment.

“We also did it as a ‘powerplay’ cup, – which meant that whenever music was played, any goal which was scored counted as double.

“The kids love a cup format as it makes the games really exciting. The ‘powerplay’ creates an increased intensity to the games and an added excitement. It was all really good on the whole.”

As well as the impressive level of skills on show, Saints Southwest director Hayman was also delighted at the level of sportsmanship shown by all sides.

“I was really impressed with the standard of football on the whole, as I always am,” Hayman explained.

“As you can imagine, there are some really talented players within the academies which participate, and as always it was so competitive.

“We quite often get different winners from every single event, which just goes to show how competitive each of the squads is.

“The sportsmanship and integrity was really good as well. With a cup format you get the disappointment of being knocked out, and it’s about how you deal with that little bit of emotion.

“All participating teams showed great respect and integrity. The Saints Southwest Under-9s lost in the final and showed that respect by accepting it really well and being gracious in defeat.”

And he added: “Our teams fared really well. Saints had three teams in total competing, with one making a final and another making a semi-final. They all did really well.

“You literally could not predict or pick a winner, which is great. The winning teams were Southampton Academy Bath in the Under-9s and and Exeter City in the Under-10s – two different winners to what we had in the last event.”

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