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ESFA / Durham Under 13 Festival of Football 2008

The 17th ESFA / Durham Festival was attended by four residential teams: Allerdale, Bradford, Derby and Luton.

Nine local non-residential teams were also in attendance: Bishop Auckland, Darlington, Derwentside, East Durham, East Northumberland, Gateshead, Hartlepool, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

The College of St Hild and St Bede was used as the residential base for the visiting associations with all matches being played at the University's Graham Sports Centre.

Unfortunately, due to water logged pitches on the first day, there was no play on grass but matches, featuring the resident teams, were able to be hastily arranged on a nearby 3G full size pitch at Durham Community College of Business and Enterprise.

At the Opening Ceremony staff, players and other officials were welcomed by Alan Johnston on behalf of the ESFA and Participation Certificates were presented by John Robinson (Chair DCSFA). The evening concluded with a Sports Forum hosted by Phil Cunningham (DCSFA). Members of the forum included Richard Jobson (PFA), James Milner (Newcastle Utd) and Matthew Buck (PFA).

Off-field visits for residential teams included the Metro Centre, South Shields and ten pin bowling at Washington and Sunderland. Residents also took part in coaching activities conducted by Mick Tait (PFA) and a video presentation on becoming a young professional footballer.

Football activities involving 230 boys resulted in 17 games being played on grass (2 on 3G), 74 goals being scored and 5 clean-sheets from goalkeepers. Bradford won the indoor 5-a-side competition and South Tyneside won the Puma Fair Play Award.

Thanks to Geoff Wainwright and the DCSFA Organising Committee – many of whom have been part of the organising group since the very first Festival in 1992. Thanks also to the staff accompanying teams, parents, referees, Durham County Council, Durham University (Graham Sports Centre, College of St Hild and St Bede), the PFA and Puma.