THIS month’s 18-team ‘Redditch Syria Appeal’ six-a-side football tournament raised a superb £1,017 for charity Ummah Welfare Trust’s ‘Samarda Camp’, which supports widows and orphans in Syria.
The competition was held at Trinity High School and Sixth Form Centre’s astroturf, where teams from Birmingham, Northampton, Coventry, Worcester, Loughborough and Redditch gathered to take part.
Rayhan Miah’s Real West Brom were crowned champions to put Qasim Hafeez’s Incredibles into the runners-up spot, after Chris Brown scored the golden goal in extra time of the final following a 0-0 draw in normal time.
Brown kept Incredibles’ defensive pair Fabian Connolly and Matthew Chambers on their toes as he looked the most likely to break the deadlock and keeper Lee Rutter was beaten by Brown after an impulsive run and shot deflected off Connolly. Rutter dove to his right and was left to watch the ball divert the opposite way.
Dan Carter and Daniel Byford performed admirably in an Incredibles team which played attractive football throughout the tournament and deserved their place in the final.
Luke Shah of Real West Brom was awarded Player of the Tournament after starting every game. He was a key influence in defence but also scored some important goals.
Midfielder Abdur Alkash helped Real West Brom by controlling the tempo of their games with his movement, passing and use of space, whilst Nick Briggs finished as top goalscorer with six crucial goals.
Both contenders for the final came from Group One alongside hosting team, GujerKhan Boyz, who managed to reach the semi-finals where they were defeated 3-0 by Incredibles.
GujerKhan Boyz managers Umer Khan and Majid Ali were disappointed as players Leigh Bell and James Gifford missed crucial chances.
Efforts from Coventry Hamas were halted as they were defeated 3-0 by Real West Brom in their semi-final. Captain Haroon Mota led Hamas to the top of their group stage, with star performer Ashley McBride bagging five goals as well as the Referees’ Favourite Player award.
Mohammed Abdul Rauf’s Royal Bengals of Loughborough finished second in the group, but struggled in the quarter-finals as they were defeated by Incredibles.
Birmingham Tigers dominated group three and qualified with ease as their star man Ishaq scored five. They were beaten by GujerKhan Boyz in the quarter-finals after a quickly taken free kick from James Gifford caught them off guard.
A young Abbeydale FC team including local talent Jordan Jones surprised everybody as they finished second in group three, but were undone by Hamas in the knockout stages.
The 2013 champions Sparkhill United scraped through in third place, meaning they faced Real West Brom in the quarter-finals, and a fiery match finished 2-2, but Sparkhill crashed out as penalties finished 4-2 to Real West Brom.
A spokesman for the event said: “We are delighted to have organised our sixth tournament in Redditch since 2009 and are delighted with the amount raised this year. It was a great event and the funds raised will make a huge difference in the Samada Camp run by Ummah Welfare Trust.
“Some 75 per cent of Syria’s refugees are women and children, so this project helps the most vulnerable and can provide clothing, clean water and food.
“We would like to thank all 18 participating teams. Some travel long distances to support the causes and without the teams there would be no tournament. Thanks must go to our partner – Shamroz Altaf of Gorilla Productions Media – and our sponsors Mohammed Umran of Tint Ur Ride Automotive of Redditch, Impact Trophies and Merchandising of Hertfordshire and Caspian Pizza Redditch.
“Finally, we would like to thank Liam Moakes and the Redditch Standard for helping us publicise this event on a yearly basis. Thanks also go to Wayne Beard of Redditch Borough Council and everybody at Redditch Cricket, Hockey & Rugby Club, the staff at Trinity High School including Ellen Stewart, and Darren Veness and his team from the Redditch YMCA.”
Qasim Hafeez’s Incredibles were runners-up and are pictured, left to right – Yassar Mahmood, Matthew Chambers, Fabian Connolly, Lee Rutter, Daniel Byford, Dan Carter, Rob Thompson-Brown and Qasim Hafeez (player manager). (s)
Star man: Real West Brom’s Luke Shah was named Player of the Tournament. Shah was pivotal in defence and going forward in an all-round brilliant display. (s)
Real West Brom’s Nick Briggs, who bagged six goals in the tournament, with his Golden Boot Award presented to him by the referees. (s)
Hosting team GujerKhan Boyz managers Majid Ali and Umer Khan put their previous rivalries aside for 2014 and produced a combined team to try and guide a Redditch-based side to victory in the tournament for the first time, but unfortunately came up short, losing in the semi-finals. (s)
Chris Brown nets the golden goal to win the competition for Real West Brom, leaving Incredibles as runners-up for the second time. (s)