TOURNAMENT favourites Incredibles rose to the challenge to win the ninth Redditch Cup of Champions charity tournament, which raised a brilliant £1,630 for UK-registered charity Penny Appeal and its OrphanKind appeal.
The appeal supports orphans across the world in places such as Syria, Palestine, Somalia, Gambia and Mali to name just a few.
The tournament, which has been organised annually since 2009 by members of the Redditch community, was held at Trinity High School & Sixth Form Centre and produced new champions yet again as the Redditch-based pair of Jameel Hussain and Qasim Hafiz combined to assemble a team which would finally bring them the coveted trophy.
Incredibles were crowned champions after powering their way to the final and then overcoming Haroon Mota’s brilliantly talented Team Orange of Coventry 2-0. The Coventry outfit were in fact Penny Appeal’s very own representative outfit.
A strong Incredibles outfit boasting the talents of locals Jordan Jones, Rob Thompson-Brown and Robbie Bunn lived up to their favourites tag as they topped their group and then beat Areeb Khan’s Birmingham-based outfit Sparkhill United in the last eight.
A magnificent Thompson-Brown free kick left Sparkhill stunned as a highly-charged match saw Sparkhill’s Sohail Rehman shown a red card.
Anthony Scarlett’s Wessex FC, who had travelled from London and were spearheaded by the impressive Bilal Aalouache, were then beaten by Incredibles in the last four as Bunn starred.
The impressive Thompson-Brown and Bunn were at it again in the final as their goals sealed Coventry’s fate, including an opening cracker from Thompson-Brown which surprised everyone to add to his brilliant free kick in the quarter-final.
Until this point, Coventry goalkeeper Damsin Shamdin excelled throughout, conceding just one, but the prowess of Incredibles shone through as they rose to the occasion after finishing runners-up in 2011 and 2014.
Current Incredibles player Joshua Quaynor formed part of the previous team who came up short in 2011. Quaynor was dismissed in the final that year and it was Mota’s Coventry team who defeated Incredibles by the same 2-0 scoreline, so Quaynor will be pleased he has been finally able to avenge that defeat.
Quaynor and Jones were faultless for Incredibles in a defence which conceded only once in the tournament.
A highly impressive Coventry outfit will rue missing the chance to become the first team to win the trophy three times. There was, however, some consolation for their star striker Muzzy Nduna, who finished as the 2016 top goalscorer after netting eight goals.
He was a constant threat throughout the tournament and showed some excellent composure and clinical finishing – a great achievement considering his team were drawn in what was regarded by many as the group of death.
Bunn was excellent throughout and was named player of the tournament after producing some fine displays and bagging six goals.
Overall the tournament proved another success and organisers had the following to say: “We are very happy to have raised the amount we did. This would not have been possible without teams, so we would like to congratulate every participant on playing their part.
“Working with Penny Appeal has been excellent and we know that through their operations orphans across the world will benefit from things which we take for granted.
“A big thanks must also go to all the team of organisers from Redditch and beyond, without whom none of this would be possible, and our team of referees Matt Homer, Will Cemis, Jason Holmes and Adam Sharpe who yet again did a magnificent job controlling the discipline of players in what was a competitive tournament.
“We would also like to thank our partners and sponsors GP Boxing, Hewell Road Tyres, LTW Network Marketing and Caspian Pizza, Liam Moakes at the Redditch Standard and Ellen Stewart and the team at Trinity High School & Sixth Form Centre.”