The Green Brigade would like to thank all who tuned out at Glenconner Park, Garngad, on Saturday and contributed to what was a fantastic community event. For 6 years we have been hosting a football tournament which aims to challenge intolerances and bring together the Celtic community and various minority groups through football, food and banter. We are proud and humbled to see our small project blossom over the years, culminating in Saturday’s event which was definitely our biggest and best to date.
Special thanks must go to the select band that made Saturday possible and for their efforts, patience and efficiency in pulling it all together. On top of this, thanks to all others who devoted their day to the event: from spending hours dealing with another hugely successful food collection, to providing the barbeque and other refreshments; from manning the kids’ bouncy castle, to refereeing and overseeing matches amongst plenty of other things.
The tournament obviously isn’t possible without the participating teams so we must thank all 23 teams who accepted our invite and played in a manner befitting of the occasion. As always, there was varying standards of football on show with plenty of goals and a few tasty challenges! Most important of all was the diversity of the teams – scenes of skinny, wee, peely-wally Glasgow bhoys challenging man-mountain African counterparts captures perfectly the spirit and purpose behind the event!
Whilst other teams (most notably the Cavendish 7-1) may have been grabbing the plaudits, the ultimate winners led a more discreet path to the final. After a solid start with two opening wins the eventual champions then played out three goalless stalemates, just narrowly qualifying for the next stage. The late arrival of their talisman forward saw the goals return though: comfortably seeing off Garngad in the quarters before, for the second consecutive year, contesting a penalty shootout for a place in the final – this time after a pretty fiery encounter with Celtic Minded. This year the host team held their bottle! Buoyed by their underdog status the Green Brigade took an early lead before a late equaliser ensured the hard fought final with Cavendish 7-1 was going to another shootout. At the 6th time of asking, and being as close as they’d ever been, the Green Brigade held their nerve to win their own 2014 Anti-Discrimination Tournament.
As much as we enjoyed our footballing success there was far more important things to be satisfied with. We can’t thank enough everyone who played a part in making the day a success. Thanks has already came from St. Roch’s parish for the food donations and we must echo their sentiments as once again Celtic fans live up to their reputation and roots. For years this tournament has been an integral part to our season as it epitomises much of what Celtic means to us. Its evolution from a small tournament into an all round community event is totally flattering and it is a privilege to host it. We look forward to next year where we hope to see the same familiar faces and plenty more.