Zimba vs Just Play

GFA Summer League concludes this week

The third annual GFA Summer Super League series is set for an enthralling conclusion with two finals on show this week.

Bristol Premier Combination side Winterbourne United are this Tuesday evening, August 21, in Secondary Trophy showdown action against Jamaica Bell, whose Downs League compatriots Clifton St Vincents lock horns with District Leaguers Bradley Stoke Town on Thursday, August 23 for the final of the league’s main Championship Cup competition.

Both games, kicking off at 6.30pm, take place at the GFA’s Oaklands Park complex in Almondsbury where all group and knock-out fixtures have been taking place on a fortnightly basis over a largely sweltering summer.

This year’s tournament began in June with 13 teams spread across three groups vying for spots in the knock-out stages.

Full-sided 11-a-side games are each played over 60 minutes on the 3G pitch at county headquarters, with the top two in each group qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Championship Cup and those finishing up third and fourth in their sections dropping into the Secondary Trophy.

Bradley Stoke’s 3-0 semis victory over UPFC Old Boys, and Clifton St Vincents’ exciting penalty shoot-out win over Sporting Greyhound following a 1-1 regular-time stalemate, set up this Thursday’s final.

Winterbourne handsomely secured a place in the final of the Secondary Trophy by romping to a 6-1 success over Zimba whilst Jamaica Bell saw off Monday Night Football 2-1 in a more closely-fought last-four affair.

Organiser and football development officer at the GFA, Jack Stanbury, explained: “Clubs and teams have found our Summer League a really good way of building up for the more serious business of their forthcoming league campaigns, although four of this year’s entrants – Just Play, UPFC Old Boys, Monday Night Football and The 11 Little Bears – were formed from groups of mates rather than as part of established clubs.

“Although the tournament is held in pre-season it’s nevertheless a competitive one played in really good spirit and there are clubs from several local leagues involved which gives them the chance to play against sides they’d not ordinarily perform against.

“It’s strange how it’s worked out because all finalists in the two competitions competed in Group B so they have already had the chance to weigh up their final opponents.”

Jack added: “The beauty about our Summer Super League is that administration commitments and costs are minimal as far as competing clubs are concerned. They can just turn up and pay fees on the night and we provide three qualified officials and a 3G pitch: everything is ready to go.

“Just for good measure we also offer £150 in prize money to the main tournament winners and £50 to those winning the Secondary Trophy!”

Last year’s summer spectacle saw Downs League Torpedo claiming the main competition honours and Jamiaca Bell the other.

Bradley Stoke and Torpedo were respective victors in the inaugural 2016 tournament.