Monday 05 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 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 first preview, premierleague.com looks at Whitgift School.
Goalkeeper: Billy Parker;
Defence: Theo Reid, Dylan Burke, Dinos Kalognomas; Oscar Melbourne, Leshon Pitters, Toby Thomas;
Midfield: Fionn McManus, Danny Bowry, James Watkins;
Forwards: Andre Coker, Lewis Scott (captain), Rhys Amoah, Ollie Archard, Jake Connaris, Shaun Connell .
Scott, Coker, McManus
Lewis Scott The captain and leading goalscorer since playing for the Under-12s.
Andre Coker The only academy player in the team (Crystal Palace FC), and the most gifted with good skills and pace.
Dinos Kalognomas A good all-round player.
Steve Kember is a former player and manager of Crystal Palace and takes charge of the Under-16s. Football overall is run by former Chelsea and Arsenal defender Colin Pates, who started football at the school 16 years ago and has built up its presence among the more traditional sports of rugby and hockey.
The same group of boys claimed the ESFA Under-12s title at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge in 2010, having come close in 2011 and 2012, going out in the semi-finals, and the quarter-finals in 2013.
Round 1 v Ravens Wood School 7-1
Round 2 v Hayesbrook School 7-1
Round 3 v Carshalton Boys’ Sports College 2-0
Round 4 v Thomas Bennett Community College 10-1
Round 5 v Debden Park High School 4-2
Round 6 v Sandringham School 5-2
Round 7 v Robert Smyth Academy 2-1
Round 8 v Shenfield High School 3-2
Semi-finals v Winston Churchill Sports College 2-1
Victor Moses (Chelsea; on loan at Liverpool) won the ESFA Under-14 Cup in 2004.
Bertrand Traore (Chelsea; on loan at Vitesse Arnhem)
Kiran Khinda-John (Crystal Palace academy)
7 May 2pm St Francis Xavier College v Whitgift School (Britannia Stadium)
For more details go to the ESFA website: http://www.esfa.co.uk