The inaugural Europe Corporate Cup of Soccer took place over the weekend, in association with Stoke City Council, Stoke City Football Club and Staffordshire University. The Cup kicked off the start of a brand new series of events in Stoke, which will later see a Europe Corporate Cup of Netball and a Europe Corporate Cup of Dragon boat racing come to the City in September (16th and 17th) . It was a great weekend that showcased some of the best sporting venues and facilities in the region and there were some powerful local organisations that took part from the likes of JCB, Bentley Motors and Michelin Tyres who joined other sporty businesses from across the UK to compete!
Stoke-on-Trent was recently awarded European City of Sport status following the successful staging of the UK Corporate Games in the region in 2015. Since receiving this impressive accolade, Stoke-on-Trent has been extremely proactive in marketing the City as a desirable host location for international, national and local sporting events and we are proud that the brand new series of Europe Corporate Cups have become top quality additions to the extensive European City of Sport programme.
The weekend kicked off on the Saturday at Staffordshire University, where everybody played their matches on the well-marked pitches at Staffordshire University. We were incredibly lucky with the weather as it was a beautiful day and it set the tone nicely for the rest of the weekend.
As well as the sporting competition taking place, on the Saturday evening we invited everyone to come along to the Britannia Stadium where were lucky enough to have an interesting tour of the Stadium, where we were given access to the impressive home and away dressing rooms, the mascot room, interview and media rooms and we were given the best possible views of the stadium and pitch before having a private viewing of the UEFA Champions League Final in the 1863 Lounge. It was a great evening and a hopefully a nice way to relax before the finals kicked off the following day.
The finals were over at Clayton Wood Training Ground on Sunday morning, which is home to the Stoke City players. The pitches and the whole complex were absolutely fantastic and the staff were extremely accommodating and helpful to us and everyone taking part, as each team was allocated to a changing room.
A series of exciting knockout matches ensued and the pristine surfaces.
The final match of the weekend saw Stoneleigh Architectural Services from Wolverhampton take on Kangs RBS Group from Warwickshire to decide this year Champions. Both teams gave it there absolute all and it was a thrilling final to watch. Players from the eliminated teams had all been keen to stay to watch this showpiece spectacle and the atmosphere was electric with sizeable numbers crowding around the pitch to watch the action.
Tied at 1-1 at full time, the youthful RBS team took a deserved 3-1 lead in the warm sunshine in the first period of extra time. However, the more experienced Stoneleigh side kept plugging away and snatched an equaliser with only seconds remaining to make it 3-3. Penalties ensued but who would come out on top? Maybe the late comeback had taken something out of RBS. In the tense shootout Stoneleigh kept their nerve to secure a 4-3 win on penalties!
There was regional glory for Bentley Motors Limited though who managed to beat local rivals Michelin Tyres in a high scoring 3rd place playoff to secure a medal.
The new Lord Mayor Councillor Anthony Munday commented on the great spirit in the Cup as he presented a special City of Stoke On Trent China plate to the Man of the match from Stoneleigh.
A huge congratulations to everyone involved, we hope you all enjoyed yourselves and we look forward to seeing you soon! We are now more excited than ever to return to Stoke in September with the Europe Corporate Cup of Netball and the Europe Corporate Cup of Dragon boat racing, which will both take place simultaneously in the City, from Friday 16th – Saturday 17th September.
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For any more information on any of our upcoming events, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with a member of the team on:
0044(0) 1733 380 888 or email [email protected]