Chelsea’s teams for Premier League event chosen
news Wed 22 Mar 2017
Chelsea Ladies pair Crystal Dunn and Millie Bright were on hand to meet the winners as Chelsea’s representatives for this year’s Premier League Schools Tournament were confirmed.
Our Cobham training ground played host to the Chelsea Foundation’s area final as teams from London, Surrey, Essex, Hampshire and Wiltshire did battle for the right to represent the Blues at the Premier League national final.
Two competitions ran simultaneously with John Keble Church of England Primary School (London) coming out on top in the under-11s mixed tournament, and Blenheim High School (Surrey) being crowned champions in the under-13 girls event.
The two teams will now go on to face their counterparts from the 19 other Premier League clubs in the national final at a yet to be confirmed Premier League ground in May.
Blenheim teacher Stuart Millard said: ‘The day is a real festival of football. It’s been really nice to come down to such a great facility here in Cobham.
‘It really has inspired our girls. This has been a brilliant competition. The girls have absolutely loved it. We came to play in the first round and it’s been such an incentive for them to get through and have the opportunity to come back.
‘The girls are amazing. As a school we are so proud of them, they’ve been phenomenal. Their performance has exceeded anything we could have imagined and we now have a team we can really build on over the next three or four years.
‘The buzz is there already about representing Chelsea in May so it can only get bigger over the next month or so. The girls aspire to be professional players so it’s incredible for them to be able to meet the Chelsea Ladies as well.’
In total more than 100 schools registered to represent Chelsea in the national finals, with the competition designed to give children the opportunity to be treated like Premier League footballers while competing against other school teams representing their local top-flight club. It forms part of the Premier League Primary Stars initiative.
From the regional rounds, 11 schools qualified for the trip to Cobham with a round-robin league system used to decide the overall winners.
The Premier League Schools Tournament is all about increasing participation in football for boys and girls, and Chelsea Foundation Premier League School Sports coordinator Matt Wilder was delighted with how the entire competition had gone.
He said: ‘The standard on show was extremely high, a competitive tournament played in the right spirit.
‘We have had more than 100 schools enter throughout the year and have shown our commitment to the project and the competition. To finish things like we have, at Cobham, with two of the Ladies players in attendance was fantastic.
‘It is a day they will hopefully never forget and fingers crossed our winners can do the club proud at the national final.
‘But regardless of who won, all the players should be proud as they showed good technical skills and I would like to thank the schools for allowing their children to take part, the whole thing has been a huge success.’