Throughout the ten years in which this most loved, cherished and desired Cup has been contested, through the loving grace of Guruhari Param Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the Amrut Cup has always unfolded to be an outstanding success and in doing so, it has set an unprecedented level of unity amongst the kishores.
With the JJB Soccer dome in Derby providing the unique venue, this year’s 5-a-side competition was unique in the sense that with no clear cut favourites, it was a totally open competition. The Neelkanth Cup was also contested, keeping all teams interested throughout the day.
The competition kicked into life in the Quarter finals, where two of the favourites, Leicester A and South A met, with Leicester going through on penalties. Leicester repeated the feat by beating Harrow A also on penalties and booked their place in the final. On the other side of the draw, West A overcame Leicester B and North A with strong and dogged performances.
With West London beating all odds and entering their first final ever and with Leicester’s passion and pride at stake, the final did not disappoint. It was a close final with both teams giving their all. At the end of the day however, Leicester A were more clinical with their chances and eventually beat West A 2-0. In winning the Amrut Cup, Leicester became the first team outside of London to win since 1999.
Leicester C won the Neelkanth Cup, Vikesh Patel of West A claimed the Golden Boot, Kalpesh Valand of Brent B took the Best Goalkeeper award and Prashant Patel from Leicester A won the coveted Player of the Tournament award with his outstanding performances.
This tournament was a great show of talent and brotherhood amongst our kishores, with all the professional referees thoroughly impressed, saying, ‘Never have we ever witnessed such a well-organised and well-mannered tournament.’ Many thanks have to go to Leicester Mandal for organising the tournament this year and also specifically to Jaybhai, Dipeshbhai, Dharmeshbhai and Sandeepbhai who put in a lot of time and effort to ensure the day ran smoothly.