Monday 12 November 2012
West Bromwich Albion U12s won the right to join Manchester United at the Christmas Truce Tournament next month in Ypres when they beat Liverpool on penalties in the final of the Christmas Truce National Finals at St George’s Park.
In a close tournament West Brom overcame opposition from Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Leeds United and Liverpool to represent England alongside defending champions United in an expanded tournament in Belgium starting December 1.
The whole tournament, played as nine-a-side was tightly contested, with placings decided on goal difference and the final was no different, ending in a 1-1 draw after which West Brom prevailed 3-2 on penalties.
As well as the competition on the pitch the teams also learnt about the First World War and Remembrance Sunday. The Premier League’s Head of Education and Welfare, Martyn Heather made a presentation about the War, the Christmas Truce and Remembrance Sunday and the teams took part in a ceremony at 11am on Sunday where a child from each club read out the names of players who died in conflict, as well as laid wreaths around the pitch where they played.
"The lads have all commented on what a great experience it has been for them"
As well as seeing his team win West Brom’s Head of Education Mike Scott praised the praised the youth development and education his boys enjoyed.
“This was a fantastic opportunity for the players," he said. "Not only to take part in a terrific tournament this weekend at the new National Training complex but it was also a great opportunity to learn more about Rememberance Sunday and the players, who as soldiers lost their lives for the country.
"The lads have all commented on what a great experience it has been for them.”
West Brom U12 coach Adam Blount was proud of how his team matched themselves against their rivals.
“It was an evenly matched tournament between the sides,” he said. “In the final we probably edged the match before it went to penalties. That four teams finished on seven points summarised the quality of the play over the weekend.
“The whole experience of playing on the pitches at the St George’s Park was fantastic. The quality has, as you expect been higher with the technique and how the teams play the game. The boys will never forget Remembrance Day of 2012. The memories they have will live with them for ever.”
Liverpool 5-0 Fulham
Leeds United 1-0 Crystal Palace
Arsenal 1-4 WBA
Fulham 2-1 Arsenal
Leeds 0-0 Liverpool
WBA 0-2 Crystal Palace
Arsenal 2-1 Leeds
WBA 2-1 Fulham
Crystal Palace 0-4 Liverpool
Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal
Liverpool 1-1 WBA
Leeds 0-2 Fulham
Fulham 1-1 Crystal Palace
Leeds 1-0 WBA
Arsenal 0-0 Liverpool
Fulham 0-1 Crystal Palace
Arsenal 1-1 Leeds (Arsenal win on penalties)
Liverpool 1-1 WBA (WBA win on penalties)
To see a video about last year’s Christmas Truce Tournament click here