Prep at National Football Finals
On Monday a team of Year 6 footballers, followed by an army of parents and supporters, travelled to the FA’s high tech training facility at St George’s Park for the National IFSA U-11 football finals.
The team had done better than any Prep side had done before to qualify through the East regional round last term, and joined the other 18 best teams in the country.
The team arrived at the new training facility, where England players right up to the likes of Steven Gerrard, Michael Dawson and Wayne Rooney meet up for international duty, and headed to their first game on the Gary Lineker pitch.
This was against QEH Junior School and a nervy encounter ended nil nil, with The Perse team on top for large spells but unable to find the net. For their second game the team moved over to the Alan Shearer pitch to take on Bolton School. The Perse took the lead early in the second half through Alex Badenhorst. The ball fell kindly to the striker, but he still had to show great composure to score. Bolton came back strongly though and scored near the end of the game to level the match.
Two draws represented a solid start from The Perse, as they showed they were clearly good enough to play amongst this esteemed company. In their next game against Forest School the strong wind played a key role, and the Perse conceded a goal in the first half and were behind at the break. With the wind behind them in the second half the Perse were completely on top, and were only a few near misses and one stunning save away from getting something from the match.
Following this defeat The Perse needed to record a couple of wins in their final two games to progress from the group. They got off to a bad start against Hallfield, conceding two early goals. The team fought back well and scored an excellent goal through James Coleman, who finished off a flowing move. The team could not add to this however and succumbed to another defeat.
In the final game against Portsmouth Grammar School another solid performance was not matched by the quality of the Perse finishing, and several chances slipped by before Portsmouth took the lead through their only meaningful attack (this was despite a heroic goalline clearance from Ben Cross in the build up).
The team therefore didn’t progress through their group, and all that was left was to use the same changing rooms as their footballing heroes, and head back to Cambridge. The team should be very proud of their achievement in reaching this stage, and can be very pleased with the effort they exhibited on the day.