A report on the ESFA’s 4th Somerset Football Festival.
The Somerset Festival ran over the Easter holidays based at Millfield School Street. 14 Districts from the South West ranging from the Vale of White Horse to West Cornwall competed in the U.14 and U.13 age groups.
The festival was as ever a competitively high standard with a large number of academy players representing their districts. Each team played 5 games over the course of the 4 days playing at Millfield school pitches, which are of a very high standard, in the morning and afternoon which was also where the teams stayed over the course of the festival.
The Festival also worked with the local referees association as well as the Welsh referees association to bring on younger referees in a controlled environment which has allowed players and managers to just watch the games without worrying about officiating. There were trainee Physios and qualified first aiders in attendance to all games in case of unfortunate injuries.
The first evening all the travelling associations went ten pin bowling after an evening meal at two local restaurants, who were keen to support the district schools festival. The second night was a free night for the players and managers to relax.
The final night was the closing ceremony which was held at Westland Sports and Social club. Over 400 players and parents attended. The guest speaker was Ryan Seager of Southampton FC and Yeovil Town FC and ex Yeovil and District School boys, who were in attendance at the festival, who gave an inspirational speech about his life and how district schools football helped his career as a player.
After the final games in the mornings there was very positive feedback from players, coaches and parents. Next year I have already had interest from other associations so I can see the Festival growing even further,
The fourth Somerset festival was yet again a huge success. The Festival hopes as many players go on to make it professionally but more importantly create that social and team cohesion which is the main reason it is run.