Local schools set for Premier League finals

Local schools St Edwards and Brampton Manor Primary will represent West Ham United at the Premier League Schools Tournament finals

Two sets of school teams will represent West Ham United at the eighth annual Premier League Schools Tournament after beating off fierce competition from other local schools.

St Edwards School will enter in the U11 mixed competition while Brampton Manor Academy will compete in the U13 division for girls.

The Premier League Schools Tournament is all about increasing participation in football for boys and girls, and offers schools nationwide the chance to team up with their local Premier League club. Each of the 20 Premier League clubs stage their own regional competition to select a school to represent them in the finals, which will be held at White Hart Lane on Thursday.  

St Edwards School had a bumpy road to the Premier League National Finals. Playing their qualifying tournament in Newham, they were placed in a tough group but they progressed unbeaten to the Semi- Finals where they played last year’s winners of this heat Whitebridge Junior School from Loughton. It was a hard fought game which ended in a draw but St Edwards kept their nerve in the penalty shootout which they won 2-1

This meant they progressed to the West Ham United Club Finals Day. After some tough games they found themselves in the Final lining up to face Thameside Primary School from Grays, who had the honour of representing West Ham at the Etihad last season. With a minute to go Thameside were leading 1-0 but a last minute equaliser took the Final to a nerve wrecking penalty shootout. The experience of having faced penalties in their Semi- Final win proved to be the difference for St Edwards’s as they held their nerve to win 2-1.

Meanwhile, Brampton Manor Academy has worked with West Ham Foundation for the last two years, working alongside them on their Woman and Girls Programme delivering weekly sessions throughout the school years. Brampton Manor have entered West Ham United Foundation’s Club qualifying tournament in the previous three years, losing out last year in the Final to Sydney Russell School. This season, Brampton Manor won the local tournament at Chobham Academy in February, beating Eastbury School in the Final on penalties after drawing 0-0 and finally realised their dream of making it to the Finals at White Hart Lane.
Captain Skye Pinches represents West Ham United Ladies at U13 level, whilst several other members of the team represent local football teams. Skye said “It is a dream to represent the Club I play for and have supported all my life. To show our talents in May against all the other Clubs will be a great memory for life”.
An expected 1,000 spectators will fill the seats at White Hart Lane to see the Premier League Schools Tournament champions crowned and presented with a replica Premier League trophy.

All the students participating on the day will receive an authentic Premier League experience - wearing their Premier League club kit, using the Tottenham Hotspur dressing rooms, and walking out of the tunnel to the Premier League anthem, and even having their matches refereed by Premier League match officials.

The Schools Tournament will feature on a special episode of BBC Match of the Day Kickabout airing on 23 May at 7:40am and will then be available to watch on the BBC iPlayer

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