FA People’s Cup 2017 kicks off even bigger and better than ever!

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Black Spartans score fantastic solo goal

Phew! We’re catching our breath after a fantastic first weekend in the 2017 FA People’s Cup.

More than 6,000 teams, with 40,000-plus players across 16 age and ability categories have all contributed to this year’s opening salvoes in the nation’s biggest five-a-side tournament.

We’ve seen great goals, super skills, questionable dietary arrangements, the most astonishing array of pun-tastic team names and hardly know where to start with all the stories we’ve enjoyed, but here goes…

Friday – Under-14/Under-16 boys

While some Higher Education and Disability games were being played last week, the tournament kick-off in earnest on Friday evening with the boys youth teams.

And special mentions go out to Gainsborough FC, who made it a Doncaster double in Under-14s and Under-16s and also gave us a dabbing masterclass;Willimott’s FC, who powered through their section in Leicester; and St John’s Wood, who made our night on the live text commentary with a goal at Watford worthy of peak-Pep Barcelona.

Of course, with so many centres taking part across the country, we couldn’t keep across every game, but our congratulations go out to all the teams who qualified for the semi-finals, from where we’ll be reporting next month.

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Teams competed in the under-14, under-16 and higher/further education categories.

Saturday – Adult Female, Female/Male Vets, Walking Football

Friday’s calmer conditions gave way to much more blustery conditions – at least for those playing outside – as the Adult Female, Veterans and Walking Football categories got under way on Saturday.

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An idea of what it is like to play in the People’s Cup

Among the many highlights from the day, from the Adult Females we particularly enjoyed the guile and work-rate of Worksop Town’s number nine, the pinpoint markswomenship (is that a word?) of Pan United’s Louise Fensome in Swindon, and the hugely entertaining efforts of South London Laces in Shoreditch, who came up gamely short.

In the Vets, Armley Ladies gave a us a smile with their win in Sheffield and canine celebrations, Battling Fat Lads lit up Leeds with their eye-watering kit, and defending women’s champs Hackney Jurassics showed us they’re in no mood to relinquish their title!

There was even a boardroom bust up:

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‘Champions’ Boys from Nancy sack manager

Walking Football was no stroll in the park – a hotly contested category featured some thumping goals and bone-shuddering tackles.

But the last word on the walkers should go to Retro Rovers’ boss Jan Milner after her team’s boisterous champagne celebrations!

Sunday – Under-14/Under-16 Girls, Adult Male

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FA People’s Cup best goals from Sunday’s first-round action

Girls’ teams Sprowston and Rose Bridge Academy showed us fine skills in Norwich and Crosby respectively on Sunday morning, and we also managed to follow the Disability section that was taking place in Poole.

Then the biggest category – Adult Males – took centre-stage with controversy, slick skills, some amazing saves and great goals.

And that’s just the first round.

We’ll be back for the regional semi-finals on the weekend on 24-26 March, with all our winners and qualifiers one step closer to Wembley.

If you’re competing in or have been watching any games in the FA People’s Cup, share your videos and pictures using #PeoplesCup on social media. The best ones might even make it onto an FA People’s Cup programme on BBC iPlayer!