Wolverhampton youngsters aiming to make history in Schools Cup

Wolverhampton Schools Under-11 team will go in search of history tomorrow when they take on Lewisham in the English Schools Cup Final at Telford’s New Bucks Head Stadium.

Skipper Elliot Mallin with a new shirt donated by Wolverhampton Eats
Skipper Elliot Mallin with a new shirt donated by Wolverhampton Eats

Never before since being formed in 1964 have the district primary school team reached a national final, and Wolverhampton Schools as a whole haven’t done so since the Under-15s were beaten over two legs by Islington back in 1931.

That sums up the achievement already chalked up by the Under-11s, and while they will go out and give their all against a very strong Lewisham side, they have also been told to enjoy the experience.

“Lewisham is a hotbed of football in South London and this is their third final in 15 years so they will be very used to it,” says Wolverhampton manager Sam Holmes.

“For us to be even in the equation in a national final is a fantastic achievement and testament to how the boys have done, regardless of what happens.

“Having said that we have already beaten Manchester and Liverpool in the tournament, two huge cities with massive support from professional clubs in those cities to get their best players into the district teams.

“So we know what we are capable of, and know we can go into the game with nothing to fear.

“As long as the lads go out there and give 100 per cent and do it with a smile on their face that is all we can ask for.

“If we perform at our best then we definitely have a chance but however it goes they have to enjoy the occasion because it is something they will remember for ever.”

There has been plenty of support for the team throughout the competition, including from Wolves, who were among the local clubs to release Academy players for the cup matches, and also provided a team for a friendly to help prepare for an earlier tie with Bootle.

Coaches from the secondary school teams whose competitions have been cancelled this season have also supported Holmes at coaching sessions, and Thomas Telford School, where several of the team will now attend, provided the facilities for the final training session.

“The parents of the boys have been brilliant as well, taking them all over the country for fixtures when Covid meant we were unable to travel by coach,” added Holmes.

“It has been a real team effort from everyone involved and now we are all looking forward to Saturday and the chance to play at a really nice stadium at Telford United.”

The team will also have special embroidered kit to mark the occasion after recently-formed local food delivery app Wolverhampton Eats answered a call for sponsorship, which were then supplied by Ron Flowers Sports.

Each player, and also Holmes, will have their name and number on the kit, as well as details of the fixture, to keep as a memento.

“We’re delighted to be able to support the team by sponsoring a special kit for their cup final,” says Ben Woodall, Director of Wolverhampton Eats.

“Being the only dedicated food ordering app for Wolverhampton we are always happy to support local community projects and give back to the city however we can.”

Tomorrow's game kicks-off at 12noon. Admission is ticket only which are no longer available, but the game is being streamed live on the English Schools FA’s You Tube channel.

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