Salford’s first international fixture since the 1970s, on Sunday, will be preceded by an U7s, 9 aside competition, which will take place on the 5 aside pitches, at the south end of Salford City Stadium. The event is being organised, and run, by staff of Salford Foundation, who have invited local clubs, Eccles and Folly Lane, to participate, alongside clubs from a wider area, such as Leigh, Wigan, and Westhoughton.
The event will, in some respects, be a replication of next year’s World Cup Competition, and so a total of 14 teams will be involved, to equate with the 14 countries coming here, in twelve months time. The clubs will be split into 3 pools of five, and these will operate on a ‘Round Robin’ system, with the winning team from each pool going forward, together with the best runner-up, into a 4 team knock-out, to produce an eventual winner.
The teams are due to arrive by 2pm, and the first game will kick off at 2.30, leading to the final being concluded 2 hours later. Each game will last 10 minutes, with no half time change round, and U7s rules will apply. This will mean that there will be no markers at play the balls, no kicking whatsoever, and most significantly the defending team is not allowed to move forward until the ball has been passed once.
Although there will not be a trophy at stake, every child taking part will receive a certificate, to commemorate the event. This will be supplemented by free access to the England v France, Tri-Nations Final, immediately afterwards.
Fans arriving early, for the main game, are warmly welcome to come and cheer on these youngsters, who could well be the World Cup stars of some future competition. There will be access for spectators into the compounds, and room for them to stand around the pitches. Let us hope for a fine, pleasant afternoon, and for a good crowd to support both the players, and our Foundation.
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