Football festival

Wednesday 31 July 2002

Fulham will be favourites to win the PFA National Women's Soccer Festival, when the tournament takes place in Mansfield this weekend.

Fulham Ladies are one of 24 teams competing in the annual event organised by Mansfield District Council Leisure Department and sponsored for the first time by the PFA in association with sports giant adidas.

Teams out to block Fulham's route to the main trophy will include Doncaster Belles and Birmingham City, the sides who respectively lost to the team in last season's FA and Premier League Cup finals.

Other Women's Premier League top flight teams taking part will be Everton, Leeds United and Tranmere Rovers, while an up and coming side called Manchester United will also be on view!

There will also be international interest as Desert United and Los Gauchos, two teams from the USA, will be competing along with Scotland's Glasgow City.

The 24 teams will be split into groups of six, with the round-robin group matches taking place throughout Saturday and Sunday morning, then knock-out rounds deciding the winners of the three trophies on offer.

The tournament draw, which was made by Festival Director David Plowright live on Katie Trinder's Mansfield 103.2 breakfast show, sees Fulham take on Sunderland, Manchester City, Chesterfield, Stockport County and Glasgow City in the first round.

The programme of matches kicks off at 10.15 am on Saturday and 9.00 am on Sunday - and a feast of football is guaranteed with 60 group matches being played before the tournament enters its knock-out stages.

The tournament takes place at Manor Park Sports Complex, Mansfield, Woodhouse, Nottingham. The venue lies approximately 2 miles north of Mansfield, but has easy access from the A1 and M1 link roads.