Updated: Sep 13
Selhurst Park Football Stadium. Saturday. 3pm. A late winner. The crowd go wild. But this was no ordinary Saturday fixture for Crystal Palace. This was the inaugural EYC Cup Final...
"Not sure you could have made the day any better. It was fantastic" - Lee, Parent
From Bermondsey to Brixton, from Clapham to Waterloo the EYC team have been touring across South London on a mission to find the best young FIFA player. We've hosted tournaments at 12 different venues, with the winner from each individual tournament going home with a voucher and more significantly, qualifying for our finals day which was hosted in collaboration with the Crystal Palace Foundation.
It's been great seeing so many different faces across the city all competing in a sociable setting, meeting new people whilst playing the game we all love. Whether it was the young members of the EMCA mosque, Bermondsey's best at Salmon and BOSCO youth centres or the EYC team returning to the Marcus Lipton Youth Centre, this new format has been really well received and gives us a unique opportunity to expand our reach to enthusiastic communities outside of our Brixton heartland.
Our finalists take in a stadium tour And the EYC team take in the changing rooms
And so we take you through the Finals day at Palace where all 12 of our finalists (and a few parents/siblings) were lucky enough to get a free stadium tour, including seeing the dressing room, a seat in the dugout and an attempt at fielding the media's questions in the press room!
"It was good how it was laid out, we were fed and looked after, 10/10" - Nayphen, 15, Finalist
We then got the final tournament going, with a signed Crystal Palace shirt, vouchers, a HyperX gaming headset and 2 Palace match tickets going as prizes, the stakes were high. The standard was undoubtedly the best we've seen yet at EYC and a tense final on the big screen made for a great atmosphere in the room. Ultimately 12 young people went home happy and it was an overwhelmingly successful event. A huge thank you to Crystal Palace for hosting us, we will definitely be collaborating again in future.
Keep an eye out for part 2 of the EYC Cup Final, where we will be heading to 2K's international headquarters in central London on Tuesday 16th May. There, the 12 winners from the NBA 2K tournaments we've been running in parallel to the FIFA EYC Cup will be battling it out to be crowned South London's best.
"It was a really inclusive and fun environment" - Angelica, Palace for Life Foundation team