Tuesday 06 May 2014
The final of the Premier League Under-16 Schools Cup takes place this week at Stoke City's Britannia Stadium.
More than 700 schools have been reduced to two in a competition that has been running for 40 years and is organised by the English Schools FA, which has had the support of the Premier League for more than two decades.
The two finalists are St Francis Xavier's Sports College, from Liverpool, and Whitgift School, from Croydon, in Surrey. An extra incentive for the winners this season is a new trophy to display, one commissioned by the Premier League to mark its patronage of the Under-16 competition.
In the second preview, premierleague.com looks at St Francis Xavier School with comments by Kenny Glover, the Under-16s manager. In the run-up to the final, the St Francis Xavier's team were able to enjoy last week a coaching session laid on by Liverpool FC's Academy staff.
Liverpool's Jon Flanagan is a former student and with the Under-14s side reached the final in 2007. The present Under-16 team play in a kit contributed by the Liverpool defender under the Premier League Kit Scheme.
Daniel Murphy, Tyrone Lewis, Thomas Bruce, Matthew Bainbridge, Liam Kennedy, Michael Swift, Declan Nyhus, Charlie Short (captain), Oliver Sanderson, Dylan Keating, Matthew Mottram, Ted Heard, Daniel Abayomi, Nicholas Clarke, Elliot Hughes, Michael Fearnehough.
10 Michael Fearnehough
9 Matthew Mottram
4 Charlie Short, Tom Bruce
(by Kenny Glover)
Charlie Short "A tenacious yet classy player. The team captain and a player who will grab a match by the scruff of the neck and influence those around him to up their game. He dictates the game with style, too."
Nick Clarke "An intelligent and hardworking player. Nick is the link between midfield and attack. Graceful on the ball and has the vision to create chances. Nick is a real team player with many qualities on and off the ball."
Matthew Bainbridge "Strong, quick and able to read the game well. Matthew is comfortable on the ball and is happy to carry the ball out of defence. A very reliable player who is influential on those around him."
Kenny Glover: "Of all the tournaments entered, this is the one that everyone looks forward to the most. The prestige of the tournament and the opportunity to play at a Premier League stadium has certainly driven the team on. What is more poignant is that it is the last time this group of players will play together. A special mention must go to Declan Connolly and Jake Burns who won't be involved on the day due to the squad size of 16 but I'd like to take this opportunity to thank them."
Won the ESFA Under-14s in 2003 and were runners-up in the same competition in 2007.
Round 1 - Bye
Round 2 v Birchwood High School 7-1
Round 3 v Neston High School 4-1
Round 4 v Parrs Wood High School 6-0
Round 5 v Chaucer School
Round 6 v Canon Slade School 4-1
Round 7 v Upton by Chester County High School
Round 8 v Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School 5-3
Semi-final v Sir Thomas Boughey High School 4-0
Sammy Lee (Liverpool)
Mike Newell (Everton, Blackburn Rovers)
Tony Warner (Millwall, Fulham)
Jon Flanagan (Liverpool)
7 May 2pm St Francis Xavier's College v Whitgift School (Britannia Stadium)
For more details go to the ESFA website: http://www.esfa.co.uk