Saturday (5th April 2014) saw the fourth annual charity football match on the fields of the Old Cockburn Sport Hall, in Beeston. Every year the young people who attend the Old Cockburn Sports Hall Youth Club, play against a staff team of Youth Workers to raising money for Children in Need.
The aim is to encourage young people to take part in sport, but also to raise young people’s consciousness about the work of Children in Need, who provide support to charities working with vulnerable young people. The youth team consisted of 37 young people aged 11 to 17 years olds who had a variety of footballing experience, against a staff team of 15. This year the staff team was made up of mixture of Youth Workers, ex Youth workers and friends of friends.
The challenge for the young people’s side, was how they were going to manage a team of 37, this was tasked to the captain Haider Khan to resolve, he created two team one for the first half and another for the second half. This year the young people, are a year older, stronger fitter and eating extra Weetabix; while the staff team where a year older and carrying a few additional pounds.
In previous years, staff would get a lot of stick about the size of their bellies and how slow we are, but fortunately this year we did not get any of these insults – which in hindsight was an omen. One of the young people was made referee for the match, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but in the long term his judgement was clouded, especially when it came to decisions against young people.
The game started with a lot of tension and testing of each other’s strengths and weakness. The first goal was scored by the staff team, this was a solo goal by Kane an ex-senior member, who in previous years has played for the youth team, but now he is a Youth Worker, so has crossed over. The only female in the game was Sarah the staff team goalie, who saved some crucial shots well beyond her ability.
The second goal was a header scored by the staff team; the third was scored by the young people. This led to the end of the first half, but we were not surprised to be told that we had played 55 minutes, when we should have played 45 minutes. “Sack the ref” we cried.
In the second half, the young people came out with a new resilience and determination; this is where their fitness and footballing skills paid dividends. They scored the equaliser to make it 2-2, then we scored twice making it 2- 4 to the staff team. So we were cruising and it looked like the game was ours for the taking. This is when the young people had had enough and decided to play football. Six player attack passing and dribbling, this led to the downfall of the staff team. The young people scored 7 goals in a row and there was nothing we could do, no matter how we tried.
As usual in these matches there no fun if this no controversy, in the second half the young team had between 13 -17 players on the pitch at any one time, obviously the ref was blind to these tactics, along with giving them extra throw-ins and free kicks, I think next year we will bribe, sorry I meant hire, our own ref. The game was a good clean and friendly game, enjoyed by everyone and played in the right spirit. A big thanks need to go out to Mazher Khan for organising the event, along with Luke and Rachel for organising refreshments at half-time and after the game. The young people said the event was ‘great’, ‘food was good’ and they savoured in their victory by saying – ‘the staff got a hammering’ or words to that effect which we can print.
The event raised £64.00 towards Children in Need Appeal.
• Football sessions @Cockburn Sports Hall every Saturday 12– 3pm
• Leeds United soccer schools at Cockburn Sports Hall 5-8pm on Wednesday and Saturday evenings.
Everyone is welcome for more information contact Mazher on 07821 981582.