The sixth Hillsdene Trophy Tournament ended this week with Westlake Boys' High School from Auckland's North Shore taking out the final 1-0 over Hamilton Boys' High School.

But the tournament hosted by Tauranga Boys' College is more about developing young footballers than who won or finished in the top four.

It provides Year 9 and Year 10 boys with competitive interschool football that ranks highly alongside any other age group tournament in New Zealand.

The eight premier central North Island boys' schools that make up the Super 8 competed, plus this year Westlake Boys' High School, Bethlehem College, Western Heights High School, St Paul's Collegiate and a second Tauranga Boys' team made up 13 teams grouped in two pools.


Tauranga Boys' director of football Scott Furness said it was an opportunity to give young guys an experience of tournament football.

"There is nothing really for that age group before they progress to First XI football. As school players they don't get an opportunity to play tournament football," Furness said.

"They might for a club or the federation or a rep team but as far as playing for the school goes there is nothing until First XI."

Furness was happy with how the sixth Hillsdene Tournament went. It was played at Tauranga Boys' home of football Southey Field and Waipuna Park in Welcome Bay.

"The weather was good. We had 13 teams which is more than we have had before. We had up to 12 and we were going to have 14 teams but we had a late withdrawal which put a bit of a spanner in the works.

"All of the Super 8 schools are now attending. Napier is the final one of the Super 8 schools that has come on board plus we have the likes of Westlake, Western Heights, St Paul's, Bethlehem put a team in and we had our B team in there. Aquinas has played in the past as well."

Tauranga Boys' lost to Hamilton in the semifinals on penalties 8-7 before beating Palmerston North Boys' in the bronze playoff.

"[Tauranga Boys'] have only won it once in six years so I wasn't really expecting a TBC win. Hamilton Boys' have been in the final five out of six years and have won it three times but they got beaten 1-0 by Westlake with a header from a corner in the last two minutes."