With 28 grand finals taking centre stage at Southwell Park, half the teams that left the Kanga Cup achieved the highest reward, while the others fell just short.
Strong winds were a force to be reckoned with as cloudy skies hovered over the Lyneham-based playing fields, but that did not stop teams playing to their highest potential all day long.
The Under 16’s Male Cup final proved to be a tight affair as local club Belconnen United took on the University of Wollongong football club. In the end, the visitors edged proceedings out 1-0 and captain Filip Karanfiloski was proud that he could capture tournament gold at his second attempt.
“I’m excited, we went all the way undefeated,” Filip said. “I wanted to win this one more because we lost last year, so I wanted to win this one more than ever.”
Filip also described the emotions of winning the Kanga Cup and to do it as captain of the side meant it was even more special.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “I got given captain through our coach, but the coach was not here, so we did it for him as well, it was an unbelievable experience.”
In another match-up, Victorian outfit John Fawkner College took on Sydney University SFC in the Under 15’s Male Cup final. The game headed into extra-time where John Fawkner College ran over top the Sydney side, winning 2-0.
Sydney University player Adam Pascale enjoyed the Kanga Cup experience despite coming out on the wrong end of the result.
“It was really good, I really enjoyed it,” Adam said. “It was a great competition, we only had six teams in our pool, but we did really well, we grew as a team and it was a really fun tournament.”
Though his side came up short in the grand final, he said that he was happy for his team and that they grew as the competition went on.
“I’m really proud,” he said. “From our first game, we have definitely improved and now we are at a great level.
“We had a great performance, it was just at the end where a few mistakes led to goals, but I am really proud of them.”
Spending a great whole week in Canberra has confirmed to Adam that he would like to return to the tournament again in the future.
“I made so many good mates and I have gotten close with the whole team, so it’s been really good and I definitely want to do it again.
Capital Football CEO Phil Brown said it was great to see so many teams outside of Canberra that come and compete in the tournament.
“You normally play against the same kids week in and week out, so it adds a bit of extra enjoyment and excitement when you get to play against your peers,” Brown said.
“You get to test yourself too. You might be in a team where you perform well locally year after year, but then testing yourself against kids your own age from interstate and overseas to see where you are at.”
Brown has also loved that the tournament has had another successful year in the books and that the kids have been enjoying themselves.
“It’s been great on a number of fronts,” he said. “It’s great to see kids playing football and having fun and loving it. The best moments of my life have been spent on a football field and it’s great to see kids enjoying the sport as well.
“It has also been wonderful to see volunteers from clubs helping out and supporting a local community, it’s what connects people in Canberra.”