Borders Festival of Football nets biggest numbers yet

Football festival. SBJFA cup final U14's
Football festival. SBJFA cup final U14's

The sun shone overhead, while the talent on the pitch was equally as bright as the Borders Festival of Football celebrated its 10th year.

More than 1,000 primary school-aged children from across the region took part in games across the back pitches of Netherdale on Sunday, while on the 3G pitch, four finals were played out to decide the SBJFA cups.

Football Festival. SBJFA cup final.Gala Fairydean v Selkirk

Football Festival. SBJFA cup final.Gala Fairydean v Selkirk

Three of the four games proved to be tight affairs, with two needing extra time to decide the winner.

In the end Gala Fairydean walked away with two of the trophies, while Eyemouth and Duns claimed one apiece.

Borders Sport and Leisure estimated that 2,500 players and spectators attended Netherdale for the event, which honours the memory of Selkirk teenager Cameron Gunn, who died whilst playing football aged 19 in 1991.

Ewan Jackson, chief executive of Borders Sport and Leisure, said: “This was a fantastic day and it is brilliant to see this event go from strength to strength. About 2,500 people attended the festival between competitors and supporters, the largest number to date.

Football Festival. Selkirk v Coldstream U10's

Football Festival. Selkirk v Coldstream U10's

“This festival plays a key role in encouraging primary school pupils to play football and it was really rewarding to see so many young people enjoying competitive sport.”

Scottish Football Association development officer Drew Kelly added: “This year’s festival was a huge success, with all the children playing the game in great spirit and showing impressive skills.

“The event is supported by the teams and officials involved in the SBJFA league and represents the pinnacle of their season.

“We are really grateful for all the help and support they provided on the day.”

Football Festival. Kelso v Selkirk U8's

Football Festival. Kelso v Selkirk U8's

And David Drummond, south-east regional manager for the SFA, said: “It is events like Sunday’s that really demonstrate the strength of our grassroots game and reminds us of just how important partnership working is for our game to prosper.”

Football Festival. SBJFA cup final. Gala Fairydean v Hawick

Football Festival. SBJFA cup final. Gala Fairydean v Hawick