A new award to recognise team achievement at Cambridge FC has been won by the club’s U-12 WaiBOP Federation J-League team.
The award is open to all teams at the club and will be presented annually.
Receiving the trophy at the club’s Senior Prizegiving, the players were given a standing ovation by more than 80 senior players and supporters.
Announcing the award, Cambridge FC’s Technical Director Ricki Herbert said the club’s football committee had wanted an award to recognise special efforts by a team and it was appropriate that it had been won by such a promising youth team.
“This is the future of your club,” Herbert said, as the players stepped up to receive their applause.
Herbert said the team had looked likely to have “a testing season” when they prepared to participate in a Waikato/Bay of Plenty-wide competition bringing together the region’s best U-12 players.
However, they improved all year and finished second in the J-League.
They built on this with a runners-up spot at the prestigious Weir Rose Bowl tournament in October, a competition that has previously seen regional rep teams take part.
A week later, they won their age group section at the McCartney Invitational Tournament in Taupo, a competition that draws leading teams from the rest of the country.
Herbert said they went unbeaten through the tournament after facing sides from Wellington and Auckland.
He praised the efforts of coach Bradley Rea and manager Braedon Makgill.
“Keep an eye on this team,” Herbert advised the audience. “There’s some real talent here and we’re looking forward to seeing them develop through to the senior ranks of this club.”