Youngsters learn plenty from taking part in country’s largest junior tournament

posted in: Events, Juniors, News, Tournaments

Cambridge FC’s Technical Director Ricki Herbert says the six teams that went to this year’s McCartney Invitational Tournament in Taupo will learn much from their experience there.

“It was fantastic to see a number of Cambridge teams involved and also great to see that all teams were very competitive.

“They played in the true spirits of the game, representing the club extremely well.”

Ricki Herbert

It’s the first time Cambridge FC have sent so many teams to the tournament, involving dozens of teams from throughout the North Island.

The tournament, named after Taupo AFC’s long-time president John McCartney, has been held annually since 2004 when it began with eight teams.

This year’s tournament, at Crown Park, included sections for boys and girls aged 8-15 and Cambridge were represented by four boys teams (9th, 10th, 12th and 13th grades) and two girls teams (10th and 12th grades).

Herbert thanked the club and players’ families and supporters for making it possible for so many players to take part.

“Now we have got good momentum for this event, I’ll look to align the teams for the 2020 tournament and confirm these as soon into the New Year as possible,” he said.

How our teams fared

Boys 9th grade

The team came fifth in a 12-team group and won six of their games, beating Karori (Wellington) 4-0, Tauranga City 2-0 and Bulldog Knights 2-0. The side kept their nerve to win three close games, all by 1-0, against Unimount (Auckland), Taupo and Hamilton Wanderers.

Boys 10th grade

The team finished 9th in a 12-team pool, beating Karori (Wellington) 3-1 and Taupo 3-0, with 1-1 draws against Aucklanders Ellerslie and Bay Olympic. The side was competitive and were beaten by only 2-0 by eventual group winners Eastern Suburbs (white), from Auckland.

Boys 12th grade (pool B)

Cambridge achieved fifth position in this eight-team group, beating Bay Olympic (Auckland) 2-1, Hamilton Wanderers 3-2 and Ellerslie (Auckland) 2-1. The tightness of the scorelines reflected the competitiveness within the pool.

Boys 13th grade (pool A)

The boys sat in fifth place of the eight-team pool at the end of their programme. The side beat Forza 2-1 and Karori (Wellington) 4-2 in a tight competition.

Girls 10th grade

The girls finished fourth in their pool of five teams, with two wins and two draws from their schedule. Both wins were 3-0 against Eastbourne Dolphins.

Girls 12th grade

Cambridge achieved fifth spot in the eight-team pool and their notable wins were against Birkenhead Blackbirds (Auckland) by 1-0, and Taupo who they beat 4-1.