A secondary school football team from Peterlee in County Durham is on the hunt for glory at a national cup final next week.

Competing in The English Schools’ Football Association (ESFA) final for the U12 PlayStation Elite Schools’ Cup, St Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive School is hoping to be crowned national cup champions.

Taking place on Monday 12th October, the St Bede’s team is playing against Whitgift School from Croydon at the Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire, in a bid to cement themselves as the best in England in their age group.

Over 6,000 teams entered the 2019/20 National Cup competitions in September 2019 and since then have travelled across the country and competed in the competition’s knockout stages to secure their place in October 2020’s finals.

Francesca Craik, acting headteacher at St Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive School, said: “I am so proud of the U12 squad for the determination, work ethic and immense talent they have displayed throughout the competition.

“We are a partner school for Improtech Soccer, running academies at St Bede’s for boys and girls and it’s certainly paying off, providing great opportunities to our budding footballers.

“The U12 team thoroughly deserve to be in the final and our whole school community will be cheering them on virtually next week to bring home the silver.”

The English Schools’ FA has been determined to give young players the opportunity to complete the 2019/20 football season, when deemed safe to do so, despite the ongoing global pandemic.

Phil Harding, ESFA chairman, said: “Schools’ football is where education and sport flourish, where we develop knowledge alongside skills and values, and where young people can be competitive, considerate and truly enjoy their football.

“Our national finals showcase these characteristics, but they are only possible with the hard work and dedication of a huge number of people who give their time and expertise freely.”

 Due to Covid-19 related restrictions in place at Lilleshall, spectators are not permitted to watch the game. Instead, it will be streamed live online via the ESFA’s YouTube channel, ESFA TV, with full match commentary.

Coverage will also include a live ‘player of the match’ vote, which will be held via the ESFA’s Twitter channel, where a shortlist of ‘players of the match’ will be announced approximately 10 minutes prior to the end of the game.

Viewers will be able to vote in the online poll to determine which national finalist is awarded this prestigious honour.

If your child is interested in joining St Bede’s Improtech football academy, please visit http://www.st-bedes.durham.sch.uk or call 0191 5876220 for more information. The application process, through Durham County Council, closes on Saturday October 31st.

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