Shrewsbury Town in the Community were delighted to host the Summer Development Cup at Ludlow Football Stadium last week.
Development teams from professional clubs across the UK travelled far and wide to take part in the two-day festival for players aged 8-12.
On Tuesday, the Under 8’s competition was eagerly contested by eight teams: Shrewsbury Town FC, Shrewsbury Town (Ludlow), AFC Newtown, Port Vale FC, Cardiff City, Walsall FC and Chesterfield FC.
Port Vale took home the trophy, defeating Cardiff City in an entertaining final. Vale led 1-0 with minutes remaining, before securing victory with two quick goals.
The Under 9’s competition was just as entertaining, with Burton Albion being the eventual winners. The Brewers finally came out on top, beating AFC Newtown on penalties after the final finished in a stalemate.
Following a thrilling morning full of action, the U12’s competition kicked off with nine teams participating. Shrewsbury Town, Cardiff City, Burton Albion, AFC Newtown and Chesterfield FC made up Group A, while Group B was contested by Shrewsbury Town (Ludlow), Port Vale FC, AFC Telford and Walsall FC.
Each group played a set of round robin fixtures to determine their qualification place for the knock out stages, with Cardiff City and AFC Telford successfully making their way through to face each other in the final. Despite enjoying long spells of possession, Cardiff City couldn’t break down a resolute Bucks defence with AFC Telford battling to a 2-1 victory.
The second day of the Summer Cup Festival saw the U10’s and U11’s age groups take to the pitches on Wednesday morning.
Derby County emerged victorious in the hunt for the U10’s trophy, defeating fellow finalists AFC Newtown (2) after both teams qualified for the final by finishing top of their respective groups.
The Rams fell just short of success in the final competition of the festival, after a thrilling final with Shrewsbury Town (Ludlow) which saw the hosts take the crown.
Derby took an early lead in the 5th minute and continued to enjoy large spells of possession in Town’s half.
But the final turned on its head with minutes remaining when Aiden Rhodes danced through the Derby defence to slot home, before Noah Wickham battled his way to the edge of the Rams penalty area before rifling a shot into the bottom corner.
Town goalkeeper Shay Sterry would continue to impress, making an important save to maintain Town’s lead with seconds left on the clock and ensure victory for the boys in blue and amber.
Shrewsbury Town in the Community South Shropshire Regional Development Manager, Steve Brotherwood, described the festival as a ‘fantastic occasion’, and said: “To be able to invite fellow professional football clubs to a fantastic facility like the Ludlow Football Stadium is a fantastic occasion for us.
“The standard of football was extremely high and we thank all the clubs, who travelled the length and breadth of the country to be here.”
He added: “To be able to put our players against players and teams they have never met before is a great part of their development. A lot of our players in the Shrewsbury Town (Ludlow) squads will have never played against teams from outside of Shropshire so for them to compete again clubs like Derby County and Cardiff City is a wonderful experience for them.
“Our U11 group is one that we are really excited about. There are some fantastic characters within that group and certainly a couple to keep an eye out for to see how they develop.”