MONARO Panthers president Mauro Davanzo says the club will be looking to further expand its Festival of Football in 2013 after this year’s event proved a major success.
In total, 36 junior sides from Queanbeyan, Canberra and inter-state contested last weekend’s festival – triple the number of entries from 2011.
The surge in team number saw the tournament, which was held at Seiffert Oval, High Street and Campese Field, reach maximum capacity.
And in order to accommodate another expected increase in participants next year, Davanzo said the Panthers would be working with Queanbeyan City Council in a bid to have more grounds made available.
“The festival was one of those things where we started out with 12 teams last year and we were just hoping it would build but to get three times as many teams this year was very pleasing,” Davanzo said.
“It certainly means we’re going to have to start thinking about planning for next year very soon. If it’s going to double or triple in size again then it becomes something that will affect the whole of Queanbeyan in terms of the facilities required.
“We’re hoping in the future it can become a real Queanbeyan event, not just a Monaro Panthers tournament.”
Davanzo said the club would hold a debrief on the festival at its next committee meeting and said planning for next year’s event would begin before Christmas.
Seiffert Oval was the centrepiece of this year’s tournament and a crowd in the thousands was estimated to have packed into the stadium for Sunday’s finals action.
“It was the first time I’ve seen so many people around the sidelines, parents, grandparents and the like around the sidelines cheering the teams on,” Davanzo said. “The roar was fantastic.
“We would have had several thousand people there on Sunday and the feedback we got from everyone was that they loved what we were trying to do.”