Friday, September 12, 2003

London soccer venues praised

09/12/2003 London Free Press News Article :

London soccer complexes shone this weekend at the annual John Henderson tournament, in its 26th year. Ed Lauterbach, president of the London United Competitive Soccer Club which runs the tournament, said he had many compliments about the excellent soccer complexes and fields in London.
"You will not find any venues that match up like we have here in London," Lauterbach said.
"The city has taken some rap (over a lack of good fields in the past), but the mayor's office can take a bow and parks and rec has really supported us a lot."
Lauterbach said the North London complex, the London Psychiatric Hospital fields, the pitches at Adelaide and Windermere, Stoneybrook and the Ted Early fields were all in top condition for the tournament.
He said a number of teams have already promised they'd be returning next year, including about 20 from Ohio and Michigan.
More than 650 games involving 200 teams were played on the fields.
Convener Laurie Workman said 20 more teams were added to this year's tournament compared to last year.
"It was a good year," she said.
Ten London squads came away victorious after finals were played yesterday at the LPH fields.
In the girls' divisions, winners included: London United under-12, North London u-13, Forest United u-14, London United u-15, North London u-16 and the North London Meteors under-16 girls won the under-19 division.
On the boys' side, champions included: London United u-9, London United u-10, North London u-14 and London Portuguese u-15.
This is the second year the tournament has had the designation of being a SuperClubs regional qualifier.
That means the top four teams in each division of the Henderson qualify for the 2004 SuperClubs final tournament in Orlando, Fla.
There are only 10 SuperClubs qualifiers in North America.
"Some clubs went last year," Workman said. "There's a good chance you'll see some packing up and going again. It's a great tournament and an awesome opportunity."
Workman said teams usually have about nine or 10 months to decide if they will travel to Florida for the tournament. She said this gives them time to raise funds.
KATHY RUMLESKI, Free Press Sports Reporter


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