Y7 and Y9 football squads were taken to Paris last Wednesday to take part in the International Youth Festival of Football – the trip involved us visiting the Disney Parks in the morning then playing football in the afternoons on Thursday, Friday – the Finals took place on Saturday AM with a celebratory dinner in the evening.
There were schools from all parts of the world (including Brazil at an older age group) but our comps included Arsenal Herts Academy (Arsenal FC development team), Linfield FC (top academy from Ireland), Richard Hale School (private school from the south), CS Meaux (French Academy team), Kent County Boys (English county champions) and Scotland Boys Club (Scottish Academy) to name a few.
Incredibly our Y7’s managed to win the whole tournament despite losing their first two group games, they beat Linefield 1 – 0 in the semi finals (they hadn’t lost a game in 2 years and had beat us 3 – 0 in the group stage) then beat CS Meaux 3 – 1 in the finals to bring home the (extremely big) trophy – an incredible achievement for a school team and also the 3rd trophy the lads have won this year after the Rotherham and South Yorkshire Cups, James Claxton and Adam Willert deserve a lot of credit for their commitment to the lads this year.
My Y9 team also played extremely well through and beat Arsenal Academy 1 – 0 in the 3rd place play-off (despite losing to them in the group stages) to finish the highest ranked public school in the category - they also received the fair play award from the organisers for their conduct both on and off the field throughout the competition something I consider just as much of an achievement as the Y7’s winning the whole thing.
To be recognised for their sportsmanship, attitude and conduct is something I am extremely proud of and all 31 students represented our school impeccably from start to finish – they were a credit to us, the school and their parents.