Friday 03 May 2013
Players from 40 primary school football teams will have the experience of a lifetime when they take part in the Premier League Schools Tournament Finals this month.
Twenty Under-11 mixed teams and the same number of Under-13 girls' teams will contest the trophy at Anfield Stadium on 9 May after coming through qualifying to win the right to represent their local Premier League club.
The 40 teams will sport their Premier League team's colours, use the Anfield dressing rooms and run on to the pitch to the tune of the Barclays Premier League anthem. Their matches on the Anfield turf will be refereed by Premier League match officials.
The Premier League Schools Tournament, which is in its eighth year, is divided into four five-team groups, from A to D in the Under-11 category and P to S in the U13 section. We are taking a closer look at the teams involved and how they qualified for the finals, continuing with Groups D and S.
To read about Groups A and P, click here >>, to read about Groups B and Q, click here >>, and to read about Groups C and R, click here >>. To view a video of the draw, which was made by Jordan Henderson, click on the link on the right of this page.
U13 Winner: St John Bosco (Group D)
St John Bosco recovered from an early setback in qualifying when they lost their first outing 3-1 to Liverpool College to win the next three games with goals from Hayley Noonan and Erin Cavanagh and top the group. A fabulous goal by Chloe Griffiths decided the semi-final against ULA, setting up a final against unbeaten North Liverpool Academy. In an outstanding final midfield dynamo Noonan struck the winner straight from a corner. As a tough-tackling ball-winner Noonan will hope to put in another Gerrard-like performance as she captains her side at Anfield.
U11 Winner: Plantation Primary School (Group S)
Situated in the village of Halewood in Knowlsey, Plantation negotiated an arduous path to the finals losing 3-2 early on in qualifying to All Saints Primary School before meeting the same side in the final. This time they won 2-1 with the help of a header by Liverpool Academy player Alfie Wardell and some heroics in goal by Owen Cheetham. Nathan Cornell, who plays in a similar style to Steven Gerrard, will have the honour of filling the Liverpool midfielder’s shoes as he will get to lead the Reds out at Anfield.
U13 Winner: Ormskirk High School (Group D)
Inspired by captain and Everton Under-15s' Lucy Staunton-Turner Ormskirk won the West Lancs tournament and then the Everton tournament at the club’s Finch Farm training ground without losing a match. Opponents at Anfield could be forgiven for thinking they are seeing double as Staunton-Turner has a twin sister Erin, who also turns out for Everton and Lancashire, as does goalkeeper Amelia Size.
U11 Winner: Farnborough Road Junior School (Group S)
Farnborough make the short trip across Merseyside two years after winning the competition as Liverpool’s representatives in the 2011 finals at Bolton Wanderers’ Reebok Stadium. This is their fourth national final and they will be looking to win their first crown as an Everton side since winning the 2001 Railtrack National Final at the Millennium Stadium in Wales. They clinched their regional qualifying final place in dramatic fashion, winning in exra-time at Finch Farm. The boys will be hoping to emulate Manchester City midfielder Jack Rodwell, who used to turn out for Farnborough Road.
U13 Winner: Sacred Heart High School (Group D)
Sacred Heart, a Catholic Girls School in Hammersmith, were magnificent throughout the qualification process, scoring over 50 goals and conceding just twice in their eight games. Sacred Heart boast Chelsea academy defender Katherine Turner and Middlesex striker Hana Lalani among their squad, while captain Nancy Gilmartin, Magda Coles and goalkeeper Caitlin Cawley all play for local club Barnes Eagles. Despite only forming this season and having no pitches on the school’s small site, Mark Fegan’s side have come a long way in a short time.
To read more about their qualifying story click here.
U11 Winner: Byron Court Primary School (Group S)
Bryon Court Primary School, located near Wembley Stadium, became one of the first schools to qualify for Anfield. They came top out of 240 schoolchildren from 30 primary schools in Alperton, in January, rattling off 18 goals in their three group matches before winning their last-16 stage and their semi-final 8-0. After going a goal down in the final Byron Court’s determination and class showed as they rallied to win 5-1. Among the players wearing QPR’s hoops at Anfield will be Mason Spencer, whose mother played for Watford, Fulham and QPR, and whose aunt Becky plays in goal for Arsenal and England. Nathaniel Roberts, meanwhile, is the cousin of Stoke City striker Cameron Jerome.
U13 Winner: Kepier Academy (Group D)
Kepier represented Sunderland in the finals last year, as Houghton Kepier, at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. The team includes Year Seven and Year Eight children from a variety of feeder schools across Sunderland and have won the regional futsal festival, the U13 league, the Country Cup and reached the last 16 of the ESFA National Cup. In the PLST qualifying, they conceded just one goal throughout, confirming their place at Anfield with a 3-0 win. Poppy Pattinson and Jael Anderson form their strike-force, with captain Pattinson hoping to build on the experience of appearing at the Emirates last year.
U11 Winner: St Cuthberts RC Primary School (Group S)
St Cuthbert’s are historically the most successful Sunderland Primary School Football team and have enjoyed recent success, winning the Sunderland Schools seven-a-side league, City Cup and Alan Grimes County Cup in the last two years. Their route through qualifying was hard-going with the Stephen Black shrugging off an injury to score a last-minute winner in the semi-final against Mill Hill. They took on George Washington Primary in the final at the Academy of Light, winning 1-0 thanks to a fine solo effort from Jack Skelton, some superb saves by goalkeeper Christos Triantafyllou and the resolute defending of Dillon Skea and Nathan Carrigan. The hard work in midfield by Alex King and Keaton Black also contributed significantly to the team’s route to Anfield.
U13 Winner: St George’s RC High School (Group D)
Since first getting together in September St George’s have enjoyed a hugely successful season, winning the Salford League, the Salford Cup and reaching the final of the npower Football League Girls’ Cup. In the schools tournament, they came through the first round with the help of a penalty shoot-out before winning the final 2-1 on penalties. The team’s captain, Levi Rathburn, plays for Manchester United girls, and will be hoping to help her side end the season on a high for a school which is closing next summer.
U11 Winner: St Hugh of Lincoln (Group S)
St Hugh of Lincoln, who sit top of the Stretford Juniors Schools football league, won all their games in the first group stage of the Manchester United tournament to get to the finals. There they finished second in their group to reach the knockout stages, where they eliminated Cadishead Primary School, last year’s PLST representatives for United, thanks to leading scorer Kwame Osigwe’s solitary goal. In the final against Elmridge Primary School, who had beaten them earlier in the day, Osigwe scored twice and Lewis Phillips dispatched a wonderful free-kick to seal a 3-0 win. The team will be captained by Accrington Stanley academy player Daniel Martin.
|Group A/P||Group B/Q||Group C/R||Group D/S|
|Wigan||Man City||West Ham||Sunderland|
2012 Emirates Stadium
Under-11 winners Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School (Fulham)
Under-13 winners St Peter’s Catholic High School (Wigan Athletic)
2011 Reebok Stadium
U11 Farnborough Road Junior School (Liverpool)
U13 Broughton Hall High School (Everton)
2010 Ewood Park
U11 Oakthorpe Primary School (Tottenham Hotspur)
U13 South Hunsley School (Hull City)
2009 Old Trafford
U11 Dorridge Junior School (Aston Villa)
U13 Durham Johnston Lower School (Newcastle United)
2008 Madjeski Stadium
U11 Ipsley Middle School (Aston Villa)
U13 Broughton Hall High School (Everton)
2007 Old Trafford
U11 St Jude’s C of E Primary (Portsmouth)
U13 St Joseph’s High School (Bolton Wanderers)
2006 The Valley
U11 Gomer Junior School from Gosport (Portsmouth)
Premierleague.com will update you with more on the schools representing the 20 clubs. You can follow news on Twitter with hashtag #plschools.