Croft fundraiser a five star event, off and on the pitch

Action from Croft 3 v Shrivenham

Action from Croft 3 v Shrivenham

First published in Sport Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Chief sports writer

CROFT’S 5-a-side tournament organiser Mark Slade was delighted with how his club performed in their home tournament.

Croft picked up seven of the available 15 assorted trophies and plates, also managing runners-up in eight of those finals.

Held at the Croft Sports Centre over two days last weekend the club estimate they have raised nearly £1,000 for Prospect Hospice, as well funds to put back into the club itself.

Slade thought the success of the event showed the strength of the Old Town-based club, on and off the pitch.

“It was fantastic, I’m really pleased with the performances, it was nice especially for the under 18s because two of their players are going to be leaving the club for university, so to get a win is nice for them,” he said.

“It’s capped a reasonable for season Croft as a whole. I think we’ve had two league champions, a league runner-up, a league cup winner, and a league cup runner-up, as well as lots of teams doing well in their individual leagues.

“We’ve got over 250 kids involved with the club and next season that will be over 300. The club is at the moment Charter Standard and we are looking to get up to Community Status.

“The money we raised from the tournament will go to Prospect, early indications are that we’ve raised about £1,000 for them which is fantastic, it’s almost double from last year when we raised £600. The rest of the money will be filtered back into the teams for extra coaching and equipment.

“(The tournament) was perfect, it could have not got any better, the feedback we got from other managers, players, and parents on the day saying: ‘we’ll see you next year’ and the emails we’ve had since, goes to show if you put the time and effort into doing something properly, and you get the volunteers and the support from the community, it does work.

“A big thanks goes to the sponsors and the volunteers on the day. As a club you need that - Croft is a club not just a group of 16 teams - an event like that shows how good a club can be if you all work together.”

Next season Croft will be fielding a new under 21 team, as well as setting up a new under seven age group. Those interested in joining please contact Gary Sellars on gary@garysellars.orangehome.co.uk for the u21s and Darren Simms on darren.dssims@virginmedia.com for the u7s.

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