The tournament, named in honour of the first Indigenous Socceroos and member of the 1974 World Cup squad, Harry Williams, brought together young footballers from across NSW in competing in age groups spanning from Under 12, 14, 16 Boys plus Under 14 & 16 Girls.
Each age pool contains a side made up of Indigenous players who?ve been training together in the week leading up to the tournament as part of the Harry Williams Cup.
The fact that these Indigenous teams are cobbled together at such short notice yet provide such fine, flowing football only underlines the untapped talent available in indigenous communities throughout the state.
Thursday?s tournament was certainly a feast of football.
The skies overhead threatened at various times but at ground level the thunder and lightning was provided by the many gifted young footballers on display.
Harry Williams was in attendance throughout the day, being joined later in the afternoon by Brendan Renaud and Robbie Middleby of Sydney FC.
They couldn?t help but be impressed by what they saw on the playing fields.
All were swamped from time to time by autography hungry kids and parents who wanted to take their photos with the former Socceroo legend as well as the two Sydney FC stars.
Renaud especially was pleased at the running of the event which showcased a number of future stars of tomorrow.
?The Harry Williams Cup is a great tournament held at Football NSW and this year?s running has been no different in seeing a number of talented male and female footballers on show.
?The Cup seems to have gone from strength to strength and we at Sydney FC as well as Football NSW are proud to be part of such a tournament.?
The legendary Williams was overjoyed at the impact the Cup had, especially on the rising Indigenous players.
?This Cup provides a terrific platform for any interested Indigenous player both male and female in furthering their careers as footballers.
?Football NSW have done a tremendous job in keeping the Cup alive as I have seen the tournament progress in more ways than one since its introduction a few years ago.?
Both Harry Williams and Brendan Renaud took part in the impressive presentation ceremony that concluded the tournament.
The results of the finals in each group, plus a short summary of the pool results are as follows:
Under 12 Boys
Jamiesontown SC 4 Chipping Norton SC 1
The Jamiesontown lads were undefeated throughout the tournament. Their clash with Chipping Norton in the pool stage was a nail biter but when the final came around the boys from Nepean were too strong.
Under 14 Boys
Fairfield Patrician Brothers 2 Wakehurst SC 1
Fairfield Patrician Brothers had only finished third in the pool rounds but rose to the occasions once they reached the finals. This match went into extra time with Fairfield Pats grabbing the winner in that period. Wakehurst had finished second in the pool rounds and played a fine tournament.
Under 16 Boys
Indigenous Team 0 Fairfield Hotspurs 0
(Indigenous team won 8-7 in a penalty shoot out after extra time.)
The Indigenous team, led by former NSL defender Claudio Canosa, had only trained together for three days. This team comprises players from the Riverina, Dubbo, Wellington and metropolitan regions. The side went through the pool rounds undefeated. Commiserations to Fairfield Hotspurs. It?s always tough to lose in a penalty shoot out.
Under 14 Girls
Glenwood Redbacks 2 Chipping Norton SC 0
These were the top two sides in the pool rounds with Chipping Norton having gone through undefeated. They had beaten Glenwood 1-0 in an earlier round. However, come Final time the Redbacks lifted and came away with a memorable win.
Under 16 Girls
Chipping Norton 2 Pendle Hill 1
Pendle Hill went into the Final undefeated. The Chipping Norton girls finished bottom of the table after the pool matches but found another gear in the Finals. After defeating the Indigenous Team 4-1 in a penalty shoot out to decide their semi final the girls backed up just ten minutes later to play the Final. Pendle Hill were gallant in defeat and this was a fitting match to conclude the tournament.
The two indigenous players to be awarded Sydney FC School Holiday Scholarships were Zenton Cook of the Under 16 Boys team and Danielle Francis of the Under 14 Girls team. Congratulations to both players on their individual success.
The winners of the Jim Fraser Goalkeeping Scholarships (1 boy, 1 girl) and the three winners of the Peter Turnbull Scholarships to the Johnny Warren Football Camps will be announced at a later date.
Congratulations to all the teams that participated in the Harry Williams Cup for both the standard of football displayed and the fine, sporting manner in which they competed. See you in 2009!
By Ross Anderson and Mark Stavroulakis