Even the rain and wind couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm at Cobham on Monday as players from 12 schools took part in a competition to find out who would represent Chelsea at this year’s Premier League Primary Stars Football Tournament.
Despite the constant rain, our Cobham training ground played host to the Chelsea Foundation’s area final as teams from London and Surrey did battle for the right to represent the Blues at the Primary Stars national final.
Two competitions ran simultaneously with Fulham Bilingual coming out on top in the Under-11s mixed tournament and St John’s Walham Green CE Primary being crowned champions in the Under-11 girls' event.
The two teams will now go on to face their counterparts from the 19 other Premier League clubs at the national final at Watford’s Vicarage Road in May.
Fulham Bilingual head teacher James Moseley said: ‘We’ve had a wonderful, unexpected win! We won in the mixed competition and will now represent Chelsea at Watford which is just unbelievable!
‘The boys couldn’t be happier and really impressed me. We didn’t start strong, losing and drawing and the boys were a bit unhappy but we talked about team spirit and sticking together to be positive and they went on to win four in a row to win. It really is unbelievable; I am very proud.’
In total, approximately 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.
From the regional rounds, 12 qualified for the trip to Cobham with a round-robin league system used to decide the overall winners.
The Premier League Primary Stars Tournament is all about increasing participation in football for boys and girls, and Chelsea FC Foundation Schools Education Coordinator Anthony Savery 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 about 100 schools enter throughout the year and have shown their commitment to the project and the competition. To finish things like we have, at Cobham, is fantastic for the kids.
‘It is a day they have all enjoyed and fingers crossed our winners can do the club proud at Vicarage Road.
‘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 par. The whole thing has been a huge success.’