Youngsters show off their skills

Ilkley Under-Sevens at Ilkley Juniors' annual football tournament

Ilkley Under-Sevens at Ilkley Juniors' annual football tournament

First published in Sport Ilkley Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Weeklies Sports Editor

Ilkley Juniors held their sixth annual football tournament last weekend on what proved to be a challenging day for both the organisers and the 83 teams that entered.

This was the first time that the tournament had been staggered to allow mixed under-sevens and under-nines and under-15 girls to play in the morning and mixed under sixes and eights and under-12 girls in the afternoon.

The success of this event over recent years had obviously spread far and wide, with scouts from Burnley and Manchester United keeping an eye on the talented youngsters, not to mention the odd former England international and previous World Cup player in attendance.

There was strong competition across all age groups and a number of sections had to be decided on goal difference to determine who progressed to the next round.

Winners in the under-nines were Shipley, with runners-up being Guiseley.

Winners in the girls' under-11s were Wigton Moor, with runners-up being Bingley.

Winners in the girls' under-15s were Silsden, with runners-up being Batley.

All Ilkley teams gave a good account of themselves, with the under-nines just missing out to progress to the semi-finals and the under-15 girls being knocked out in the semi-final.

The organisation and planning of the committee from Ilkley Juniors proved that in excess of 600 players from across the region can take part in a tournament to a very tight timescale.

Their dedication is to be admired.

Ilkley Juniors train throughout the season at East Holmes pitches opposite the Lido, and new players, both girls and boys, are welcome at any time.

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