The final day of competition for the Cobram Junior Soccer Association was simply sensational.
The day started with several presentations to some wonderful volunteers with the highlight of the morning the presentation to two long-serving committee members Nathan Everingham and Jason Bassett.
Both were awarded Life Membership of the Cobram Junior Soccer Association.
Nathan has been responsible for the growth of Soccer in the Finley region and Jason has done the same for the Yarrawonga district.
They join Vince Ballerini and Pino Ballerini as the only other Life Members.
A slightly cool morning greeted all players and but after a wet week the players were more than happy with the conditions.
In total there were nearly 300 players in 31 teams across six different age groups. The format of the day involved teams playing a minimum of two matches.
All teams demonstrated determination and well developed skills to ensure there were many goals scored in the matches.
The Under 6 Mixed division played two matches during the morning. Many of these players produced their best individual performances of the year.
In the Under 8 Mixed division seven teams were in the competition. Outstanding Soccer was played by all teams and most of the pool matches were very close.
In the Grand Final Celtic took on Juventus. It was a hard fought match with many goal attempts. At the end of full time Celtic proved too strong to win 3-0.
In the Under 10 Girls division all four sides were extremely well matched.
The top two sides Manchester United and Juventus played off in the Grand Final. Manchester United managed to score an early goal and this proved to be the difference at the end of the game.
In the Under 10 Boys division six sides participated. There were some brilliant goals scored during the pool matches and some very solid defensive work.
In the Grand Final Barcelona and Celtic took each other on in an extremely highly skilled battle. Celtic were able to claim a 2-1 victory in the battle of the Finley teams.
The Under 12 division of six teams produced the closest contests of the entire day.
Manchester United and Barcelona played off in the Grand Final. In a great game of Soccer Manchester United where fortunate to win 3-0.
The Under 14 players certainly had the most fun on the morning as the players took on the parents in a massive grudge match. Apparently many parents were unable to move the next day but surprisingly the parents prevailed on the day although a head count revealed they often had extra players on the pitch.
Now the season has concluded it is timely to thank all the parents who took the children every week.
The weather was sometimes cold but it was testimony to everyone involved that barely single player dropped out during the season. The parents’ endless supply of oranges and lollies for half times ensured the players were always adequately refuelled.
The teams’ coaches and their assistants deserve exceptional praise. Many of the coaches were novices but their dedication to ensuring that the children had a wonderful time each week was admirable.
Mick Wane has been pivotal in organising training sessions in Finley. Adam Gatcum has also done a tremendous job in both Cobram and Yarrawonga improving the skills of the players.
The Cobram Junior Soccer Association has been fortunate to have some amazing boys and girls officiating this season. All of the referees are to be commended on their efforts and the players and parents certainly appreciate their efforts.
Everyone involved with soccer is extremely appreciative of major sponsors; the Mulwala Water Ski Club and Intersport Wingates and the Finley Bakery.
Mitre 10 Cobram were also very generous with the donation of many items during the year. A highlight of the season was the construction of permanent goals by Laurie Demaio for both Yarrawonga and Finley.
Finally, well done to the dedicated committee. Each member worked extremely hard to ensure that the kids get the best opportunities available to improve their soccer.