The inaugural Western United Cup took place over the weekend, with around 2,000 people filtering through Morshead Park in Ballarat for the first edition of the tournament.
Teams from across the state flocked to take part as Ballarat turned it on with three beautiful days for football, with seven trophies being handed out to winning teams.
There was something for everyone off the pitch as well with food flowing from the canteen and food trucks set up with coffees, ice cream, potato sticks and churros, which proved particularly popular throughout the weekend.
Western United General Manager Community & Operations Darren Harris said the competition is ready to go to the next level in 2023.
“For our first edition of the Western United Cup, we were really proud of all of the work we put in and extremely pleased with the outcome over the three days,” he said.
“We had 35 teams in total from 23 different clubs, equating to 400 young athletes and around 2,000 people at the venue overall.
“A big thank you goes to the City of Ballarat and Mayor Daniel Moloney, as well as the Victorian State Government and McDonald’s for their support. We are also very grateful for the support of Australian Football Skool in helping run the event.
“We have had some great feedback following the tournament and we are confident that next year, the Western United Cup will be even bigger and better and we encourage all girls teams in Victoria to come and be a part of it.”
The young guns in the Brighton Apollos Under 9/10 team proved unstoppable, winning all five of their games on the way to lifting the Cup trophy on Saturday morning.
A very competitive Under 11/12 division saw Calder United claim the Cup title, while Geelong Soccer Club’s strong tournament was rewarded with the Plate trophy after they missed the main finals draw on goal difference.
Calder United and F90 Academy shared two fantastic battles on Friday and Saturday and the former ended victorious in the Under 13/14 final with a penalty shootout win while Ballarat City FC dominated on home turf, winning the Under 15/16 division without conceding a single goal.
Hampton East Brighton FC overcame Avondale FC to win the Plate title, while Calder United also lifted the Youth Women cup with a win over Ballarat Soccer Club.
The Western United Cup will return in 2023, with the second edition of the tournament set to be even bigger than the first.