Young footballers put their best foot forward in chilly Christchurch tournament video

ALDEN WILLIAMS & JOSEPH JOHNSON/Stuff.co.nz

More than 1200 players from 80 teams took the field over the two weekends in the second annual Christchurch International Football Cup.

More than 1000 rising football stars have proudly donned polished boots, bright team uniforms and cheeky grins for one of the country's biggest sporting tournaments.

The second annual Christchurch International Football Cup gave talented junior football teams from around New Zealand and Australia a chance to battle it out to be crowned the top squad.

The competition, which is held over two weekends and ended on Sunday, catered for under 9s through to under 14s.

Selwyn player Vlad Novikov and his teammates celebrate a goal in a tightly-fought under 9 match at the Christchurch ...
JOESPH JOHNSON/STUFF

Selwyn player Vlad Novikov and his teammates celebrate a goal in a tightly-fought under 9 match at the Christchurch International Football Cup on Sunday.

The sun came out for the second half of play on Saturday as players went head-to-head at the Christchurch Football Centre, a $40 million sports and education centre on Yaldhurst Rd, Russley opened last year, where the event was held.

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Sunday's crowd were not so lucky, with hot drinks and wool blankets a must for most of the day.

The goalkeeper who saved the most goals came away with the golden glove at the awards ceremony.
JOESPH JOHNSON/STUFF

The goalkeeper who saved the most goals came away with the golden glove at the awards ceremony.

The clop clop of football boots on concrete rung out over over the sound of yelling and laughter at the park as parents herded players past the sausage sizzle tent and supporters lined the grandstand to watch teams battle it out on the artificial turf. 

Prizes were awarded to each division's top team, as well as the golden boot for the highest goal scorer and the golden glove for the goalkeeper who let the lowest number of goals through.

Christchurch team Parklands United came away with an unlikely win in the under 14 division and a Nelson team took home gold for the under 13s last weekend. 

The crowd goes wild! Parents and supporters snaked around the field to cheer on their team.
JOESPH JOHNSON/STUFF

The crowd goes wild! Parents and supporters snaked around the field to cheer on their team.

The tournament was the brainchild of Russian businessman and football enthusiast Slava Meyn, who founded the Christchurch Football Academy in March 2014.

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Meyn said the tournament had been split in two this year, with the under 13 and under 14 divisions last weekend and the under 9, 10, 11 and 12 divisions held this weekend due to high demand.

Event organiser Simon Myers said more than 1200 players from 80 teams had taken the field over the two weekends.

 

"Its hectic, what can I say, it's been fantastic and the kids are loving it."

Halswell player Oliver Jones evades a defender from opposition team Selwyn in a under 9 match.
JOESPH JOHNSON/STUFF

Halswell player Oliver Jones evades a defender from opposition team Selwyn in a under 9 match.

 - Stuff

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