A team of Positive Futures players from FURD, playing under the name of Sharrow United, performed with great credit in the 14th annual SARI Soccerfest in Pheonix Park, Dublin, over the weekend of the 11th and 12th September.
Sharrow finished joint top of their opening 5-team group, winning 5-0 versus Kilcully FC of Belfast, 4-1 versus Dublin Zimbabwe, 4-0 versus Portuguese FC and drawing 2-2 against Arsenal.
A successful first day was soured by a knee injury to key striker Junior Ndlovu which ruled him out of the rest of the tournament.
On the Sunday 16 teams from the original 40 qualified for the SARI Cup and the FURD boys swept all before them in their 4-team group, with wins against River Globe (2-0), Cobblestone (2-1) and Leinster College (2-1); yet again the team’s high spirits were dented by another knee, this time to star defender Sebastian Ksiadz, which ruled him out of the quarter-final knockout stage.
A tight 0-0 draw (after extra time) against Zambia FC led to a penalty shootout which the Zambians won 4-3.
The team did both FURD and Sharrow United proud, and were the talk of the tournament – before the injuries struck.
Joint leading goal scorers were captain Sandro Vashakidze and Achile Magala with seven goals each, Mursal Mohammed and Junior Ndlovu chipped in with three apiece with the outstanding Marcin Ostowicki scoring a solitary goal.
The team are looking forward to having another crack next September. The SARI Soccerfest, organised by Sport Against Racism in Ireland continues to provide an outstanding example of how football can act as a unifying force in bringing together