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Huddersfield school enjoys rapid rise to dream day

23 May 2018
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In nine months, Lindley Junior's U11 girls team have gone from nothing to playing for Huddersfield Town at Leicester

One school team have gone on an incredible journey to be part of today's Premier League Primary Stars Football Tournament.

In September 2017, at the start of the academic year, Lindley Junior School PE leader Victoria Mortimer was hoping to have an Under-11 girls' team.

"I was thinking, 'Right, I'm going to set up a girls' football team'," she explains. "But I thought I had nobody."

But Victoria managed to get enough girls together to form a team.

At first they found results hard to come by.

"We used to lose all the matches," says the team's leading goalscorer Vaega Hussain.

But things started to turn round. "We've improved so much," says Vaega.

The hard work and commitment shown by the girls has paid off.

Qualifying wins

Lindley Junior won Huddersfield Town's two qualifying tournaments for the Premier League Primary Stars Football Tournament, the second triumph coming courtesy of a tense extra-time victory.

Their reward is the right to be Huddersfield's Under-11 girls' representatives at the national tournament at Leicester City's King Power Stadium.

They will wear the club kit, walk down the tunnel and have a Premier League experience by playing on the pitch.

"It will just feel like we're in a dream," says captain Ella Noble.

Helping the girls on their way has been Huddersfield Town Foundation coach and former Tottenham Hotspur Ladies player Ruby Marlow.

"You want to slowly get them to have a bit of composure, get them passing the ball around, get it moving forward as a team," Ruby says.

"They've done absolutely fantastic in such a short space of time."

Team pride

And no matter how the team perform in Leicester, the progress they have made will have a lasting impact, not only on the girls themselves but on their school, too.

"The other children look up to them," says Victoria. "They can see what they've achieved and they want a bit of that as well.

"When you look at them now, you think, 'Wow.' They are confident, talented footballers.

"It doesn't matter if they win or lose on the day, they've well and truly earned their place in our school records.

"I will probably feel a little nervous, I might even shed a tear, because we are just so, so, proud. I know their parents are, too."

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