28 Feb EFL Kids Cup sponsored by Kinder +Sport Regional Finals
EFL Kids Cup sponsored by Kinder +Sport Regional Finals
On Monday 27th Feb Adams Park played host to the regional finals of the EFL Kids Cup sponsored by Kinder +Sport in what was a fantastic showcase of football from all involved.
The Kids Cup is a national competition for boys in school years 5 & 6 which begins with each EFL clubs charitable trust hosting a local tournament for schools in their area. The winners of the local tournament move on to represent their local club in the regional round where a place in the national final which is played on the hallowed pitch at Wembley before the League 2 play-off final is up for grabs.
WWSET hosted their local tournament back in Dec 2016 with 38 teams participating. After some hard fought and exciting matches Trevelyan Middle School from Slough were crowned as the winners and booked their place in Mondays tournament, which the EFL asked Wycombe Wanderers to host.
Before then though, and as a reward for winning the local tournament, Gareth Ainsworth and the first team squad welcomed the Trevelyan School team down to the training ground in January where they had the opportunity to watch a 1st team training session, have a tour of the facilities, plus have a sit down and chat with Gareth, captain Paul Hayes, Matt Bloomfield, and Adebayo Akinfenwa.
Due to the fact that the club were asked to host the regional finals of the prestigious tournament Wycombe Wanderers were happy to try and make the event extra special for all the players by offering the first team pitch to use, which judging by the feedback was hugely appreciated by all those who attended.
In total there were 14 teams representing all the Southern based League 2 clubs who took part, all of whom were hoping to progress to Wembley; Barnet, Cambridge United, Cheltenham Town, Colchester United, Crawley Town, Exeter City, Leyton Orient, Luton Town, Newport County, Plymouth Argyle, Portsmouth, Stevenage, Yeovil Town and Wycombe Wanderers.
Play commenced with two groups made up of 7 teams who all played each other once, before the top two teams from each group played in the semi-finals to find out who would compete in the final. Happily for WWSET and WWFC, Trevelyan Middle School went through the group stages unbeaten, and almost unbelievably without conceding a single goal, before continuing their fine run of form by beating Portsmouth 2-0 in the semi-final, and then Leyton Orient 3-0 in the final to be crowned Regional Champions!
Looking the part in their kindly donated brand new Wycombe Wanderers 1st team strip what the players achieved was incredible, particularly considering the standard of opposition they faced.
Both the players and their two teachers/coaches went home very happy indeed and are now looking forward to representing the Chairboys at the home of English football in what will quite possibly be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Following on from the win, Head of WWSET Paul Foley had this to say about the day:
“Todays tournament was fantastically organised and managed by the WWSET team of staff. The tournament was played in a very friendly fashion despite the massive prize being played for, and it was a really enjoyable environment for both the players and all the supporters who travelled long distances to be here. It certainly wouldn’t have been so successful without the huge support received from Wycombe Wanderers in terms of their permission to use the pitch so huge credit should go to the club for their generosity in what was a great community event. The fact that Trevelyan finished as winners was the icing on the cake so a big well done to them for their performance; they represented us fantastically well!”
Following the trophy presentation which was carried out by WWFC General Manager Michael Davies, he had this to say about the tournament:
“It was fantastic to be able to host the EFL Trust Regional Kids Cup here at Adams Park supporting our Sport & Education Trust. The players showed great sportsmanship to each other. The inclusivity of the football and skill levels were excellent from all the teams. We wish the Trevelyan School team, their families and teachers, a hugely enjoyable day at Wembley and hopefully they won’t be the only Wycombe team on the day at Wembley.“
I’m sure everybody will agree with that sentiment and fingers crossed the whole club will be competing in the capital on Sunday 28th May!