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PL Schools Tournament giving belief to aspiring players

26 May 2017
Premier League Schools Tournament 2017, Liverpool goal celebrate

As Liverpool's Under-13 girls celebrate victory at Stamford Bridge, here is how the annual competition has boosted one team member's confidence

For Emily Brough, winning a trophy and being the joint-top scorer in this year's Premier League Schools Tournament at Stamford Bridge has made her dream of pursuing a career playing football feel more achievable.

The Year 8 student plays for England's Under-14s as well as being part of Liverpool's academy and she got the chance to play for LFC Foundation at the home of the Premier League champions earlier this week.

A total of 320 youngsters took part in the PL Schools Tournament at Chelsea's stadium and Emily's team from Chesterfield High School represented Liverpool in the Under-13 girls' competition.

They eventually lifted the cup after beating AFC Bournemouth's Bournemouth School for Girls 2-0 in the final, with Emily firing in the second goal and finishing as the joint-top scorer in the competition.

"We needed another goal to be able to keep calm," she says. "I just got through a few players and scored. It was amazing.

"I'm just proud, knowing everybody back at school will be proud of us, and we've done so well as a team.

"It makes you more confident because players you look up to have played on here. It makes you think you can be like them when you're older.

"Playing here felt so natural. It's what I want to do in the future and it's given me the confidence that I could do it."

Liverpool Under-13s goal, Premier League Schools Tournament 2017
Chesterfield High School won all of their six matches on the way to winning the final

Mia Henderson, who scored the opening goal in the final, added: "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play at Stamford Bridge.

"It's been really fun. Playing in a stadium like this has helped me play better because it's given me more confidence."

PE teacher Amanda Parker believes the PL Schools Tournament can have a lasting impact for young women both on and off the pitch.

"Girls' football is on the up and the more tournaments like this that can be offered, it pushes them into the sport, which is excellent," she says.

Premier League Schools Tournament 2017
Chesterfield High School celebrate their title triumph

"It affects other parts of their school life. It keeps them on course, it keeps them working hard academically and it keeps them grounded.

"They know they're representing their school. They know they have to be respectable and polite.

"We wouldn't pick them if they weren't demonstrating those values around the school so it keeps them focused on wanting to do well.

"A lot of the girls here have the potential to go a lot further and get into academy clubs and the only way to do that is to stay grounded and focused."

See: PL Schools Tournament 2017 gallery

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