Players from Baschurch Primary School will end their season on a high this May, when they will take to the hallowed Wembley turf to compete in the Utilita Kids Cup Final as Shrewsbury Town’s representatives.
The team won its place in the final after defeating Wharncliffe Side School in the League One northern regional final of the six-a-side tournament for U11s, which was hosted at Barnsley’s Oakwell Stadium.
Baschurch will face off against Bickleigh Down Primary School, who will be representing Plymouth Argyle after winning the southern final of the competition. The match will take place ahead of the League One Play-Off Final on Monday 29th May.
Huw McGrath, Year 5 teacher at Baschurch Primary School said: “I knew we had a special team at the beginning of the year but this team have continued to amaze me as the year’s gone on. They’re extremely talented and hard working but the most pleasing aspect about them has been the togetherness they have shown in close games when their backs are against the wall.
“Their EFL Cup journey has been incredible, beginning with winning Shrewsbury Town’s tournament. They scored 30 goals without conceding one. The build up to Barnsley was a long one! Not a day went by without it being mentioned, it was also re-scheduled due to the heavy snow we had at the beginning of March. When the day finally did arrive, we arrived full of hope and expectation.
“All group games were tight and tense but we qualified top of the group with 3 wins and 2 draws. After a 6-0 semi-final win against Sheffield Wednesday, we played Derby County who we’d already beaten 1-0 in the group stage. The game ended 0-0 and went to penalties and after Derby having a penalty to win it, we came back and won 3-2 in sudden-death. The braveness and composure the boys showed knowing what was at stake was remarkable.
“I’m so proud of what our team have achieved this year, for a small school from Shropshire to make it to Wembley is incredible. The whole experience of the day will be something that the whole team, their families (and coaches!) will always remember and all of us can’t wait for May 29th.”
In partnership with the EFL, the Utilita Kids Cup sees over 12,000 boys and girls playing at local and regional stages. The teams are first split into three divisions, in line with each EFL club’s divisional status, before being again split into two groups, north and south. The winners of the divisional northern and southern finals qualify to play on the national stadium’s pristine pitch in front of thousands of fans before an EFL Final.
Inspiring children to be active, healthy and develop a strong sense of teamwork, the Utilita Kids Cup celebrates the beautiful game at the heart of communities around the country.
The girls’ competition, the Utilita Girls Cup, runs alongside the Kids Cup, with over 6,000 young female players competing for their chance to play at Wembley Stadium. The girls’ final took place on Sunday 2nd April ahead of the Papa Johns Trophy Final, with AFC Wimbledon’s representatives Surbiton High School named the winners of the competition after defeating Trinity School, representing Carlisle United, 2-1 in the final.