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ESFA / Durham Under 13 Festival of Football 2009

The 18th ESFA / Durham Festival was attended by 5 residential teams: Bradford, Derby, Leeds, Luton and Vale of White Horse.

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

For the first time, St Mary's College at Durham University was used as the residential base for the visiting associations with matches being played, as usual, at the University's Graham Sports Centre.

Day one matches saw 42 goals being scored with Derby, Leeds, Hartlepool and Sunderland each scoring 5 or more goals.

At the Opening Ceremony staff, players and other officials were welcomed by Paul Rickard (Vice-chair of ESFA) who presented Participation Certificates to residential squads. The evening concluded with a Sports Forum hosted by Phil Cunningham (DCSFA). Members of the forum included Oshor Williams (PFA), Grant Leadbitter (Sunderland AFC), Matthew Buck (PFA) and George Courtney (ex FIFA referee and FIFA moderator).

Off-field visits for residential teams included trips to South Shields and ten pin bowling in Durham City. Residents also took part in in-depth coaching activities conducted by Andy Toman and viewed the recent DVD presentation on 'Drugs Awareness' with discussion led by Oshor Williams (PFA).

The day two goal tally was down slightly to 31, although only Vale of White Horse and Sunderland managed to maintain clean sheets out of seven matches played.

The 6-a-side outdoor competition, new to the Festival, proved an overwhelming success. It was won by Leeds B who defeated their squad colleagues, Leeds A, in the final.

Many young referees came along to officiate during the Festival, some being involved every day. This was a positive decision by the DCSFA Organising Committee, who hope to develop this involvement during future Festivals.

By the end of the Festival 121 goals had been scored whilst goalkeepers maintained 12 clean sheets. The weather allowed all matches to take place grass and no footballs were lost in the River Wear! Over 250 boys had taken part in quality football in a free and friendly, competitive Festival environment. Luton won the 'Fair Play' Award with a 100% score. 'FA Respect' barriers, courtesy of John Topping (Durham FA) were trialled, with success.