Some of the most talented junior footballers in the country are set to descend upon Devonport this weekend with the 2018 National SAP festival to be staged at Valley Road.
The event, which will showcase some of the best under 12 and 13 players in the country, will feature 21 teams from around Australia in three days of nonstop footballing action taking place from Friday 23 February to Sunday 25 February.
The aim of the festival is to provide young players in this age group a high level of competition to demonstrate their skills they have been developing over the past 3-4 years. This festival also gives local players a taste of interstate competition in preparation to them moving into youth football in the coming years.
Seven Tasmanian sides will be competing (Devonport Strikers, Glenorchy Knights, Nelson United, Northern Rangers, Olympia Warriors, Cradle Coast and South Hobart) as well as 11 teams from interstate including South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Victoria. Each of the competing sides will play two games a day for six in total over the course of the festival with the Valley Road pitches set to be filled from 10:00am to 4:00pm daily.
With such a wealth of talented youngsters on display, the festival is sure to attract the attention of A-League talent scouts who will be looking to identify future stars of the game in Australia.
Football Federation CEO Mike Palmer said he was thrilled about the prospect of Devonport once again staging the event.
“We are delighted to be staging this event in Devonport for the third time. The National SAP Festival is the product of a fantastic working partnership with the City of Devonport and the Devoport Strikers which continues to go from strength to strength.”
Palmer said it was one the best annual events run by Football Federation Tasmania over the course of a season and spoke to the benefits it helped provide.
“Hosting the National SAP festival is one of the best things that we as a Federation do. It’s a fantastic event that brings with it a range of benefits. It helps put Tasmania on the national stage both from a football perspective and an organisational perspective. It helps demonstrate our capacity around development and is a great event to showcase the future stars of the game in Tasmania.”
The festival begins on Friday morning at 11am with the home town Devonport Strikers first up in action against a South Australian side. Four 8 a side games will be running simultaneously from 10am to 4pm daily, for a total of 60 games over the course of the weekend.