The tournament will be hosted by the Frank Soo Foundation
The Frank Soo Chinese Community Challenge Cup is once again back but this year the tournament has gone bigger and better than ever before! This year sees Manchester being chosen as the city to host the inaugural North tournament, while London remains the host of the South tournament, at its new home in Shepherd’s Bush.
The Manchester tournament was a fiercely contested competition with every team keen to be crowned the first ever Champions of the North and there were some real standout performances, including Dragon Team, who had only arrived in the UK a week before the tournament.
Eight teams took part but by the end of the day, one team stood remaining, shining above all others. Nemesis were the only team to have won all their group matches and went on to dominate the Cup knockout competition beating Mustang 6-3 in the final, to become deserved winners of the 1st ever Chinese Community Challenge Cup (North) champions.
As always, there are no losers at the CCC Cup events as Liverpool Chinese became the first Saucer winners by beating Benetton 4-2. Honourable mentions also go out to Callum, from Nemesis, who won the Golden Boot award with the same amount of goals as his shirt number, 11. Also a deserved winner was “Ryan” from “Nemesis”, who won the highly coveted Frank Soo Player of the North Tournament
Keen to not let the northern teams take all the limelight this year, the 24 teams that took part in the London South tournament were equally as impressive, scoring an incredible 333 goals!
The South tournament was hosted in its new home at PlayFootball, and has attracted more sponsors and media partners than last year, including Empire Casino, who were the Official Sponsors of the South Cup.
This year also saw the return of many regulars, such as “Not All That”, who reached the Saucer Semi-Finals only to lose to Dragon FT, proving once again that you should never judge a team by its name! Many new teams took part this year with the aim to get their hands on the coveted CCC Cup and be crowned as the champions of the south.
The quality of the new boys was noticeable too, as teams such as VN FC and J.L Rovers FC, joined the regular teams, LOFA, God Squad and both Bravermen teams as group winners.
Last year’s Cup champion’s, Dragon FT, surprised everyone by not qualifying for the Cup knockout competition, indicating just how high the standard of the competition was this year.
In a tightly contested competition, last year’s new comers and defeated semi-finalists, LOFA (London Orient Football Academy) beat Tabbard FC 2-1 in close final. The final was watched by dozens of spectators and amongst them was Counsellor Lu Hai Tian and Counsellor Wang Xiao Wei, representatives of the Embassy if the People’s Republic of China in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Counsellor Lu Hai Tian shook hands with the 2 finalists and was very impressed with the teams and the event. He was also on hand to hand out the trophies to the winners.
The Saucer Trophy was won by last year’s champions, Dragon FT, while the Ladle trophy was won by CATH B. The Golden Boot Award was won by Luke of CATH B with an incredible, crowd pleasing, 16 goals; The Frank Soo Player of the South Tournament award went to Kenn of Bravermen 1.
Over 400 goals were scored across both tournament setting a new record in the process! Both tournaments also saw very high scoring games, including 9 – 3 in the North between Nemesis and Dragon Team and 10 – 4 in the South between Empire Casino A and RFC 2
A special tournament will be hosted soon in London, where the semi-finalists of the Cup competition from both the North and South tournaments will be invited to participate to decide who truly is the best team of 2017 in the United Kingdom.
For more on Frank Soo, the unknown Chinese Footballer who represented England see here
Author Susan Gardiner discusses her book on British Chinese footballer Frank Soo see here