SCHOOL TO REPRESENT CHELSEA IN FINALS

Reserve players Daniel Pappoe and Aziz Deen-Conteh joined youth team striker Walter Figueira to present trophies at the Premier League Schools Tournament (PLST) this week.

The event took place at Southfields Community College, where Figueira used to go to school before being signed by the Chelsea Academy following his involvement with the Chelsea Foundation's Kickz programme. Kickz aims to use football as a tool to bring communities together and engage young people at risk of committing crimes.

The PLST saw 29 schools from across the borough compete for a chance to represent Chelsea in the national finals which take place at the Emirates Stadium later in the summer. The competition's finals give children the opportunity to be treated like Premier League footballers while competing against other school teams representing their local top-flight club.

Following a league-style tournament, the top teams in each league went into the knock-out stages which ended with a closely contested final that was refereed by Figueira. Penwortham School ran out winners, beating Hillbrook School 1-0 and will now wear official Chelsea kit when they play in the finals.

Figueira referees the final

'It was good fun refereeing the game and it's been fun coming back to my old school and seeing children play in this tournament because I did it myself once,' said Figueira.

'There was some really good football,' he added. 'Every team should be proud of their performances and it's fantastic that Penwortham School will now get to represent Chelsea in the finals - they played a great game!'

Once the results were in, medals and trophies were presented by the Chelsea trio to the winning side and the runners-up.

'It's important that we come to these events and show our support,' said Pappoe. 'I played in this tournament myself when I was at school and we won the opportunity to represent Millwall, so I know how important this event is to these children.'

The Chelsea Foundation's Wandsworth development officer Daniel Gill also understands what the event means to the local children, but was keen to point out that it's not all about winning.~

'This event is also a great way for these children to meet one another before heading into secondary schools in the area next year,' said Gill. 'It helps teach important lessons such as team work and sportsmanship.

'It's fantastic to have the reserve and youth team players down here as well. We have worked with Walter for a number of years within the Kickz programme and he also went to Southfield Community College, so everyone knows who he is and it's been a real perk to have him down.'