EFL Utilita Kids Cup: Nether Green Junior School boys from Sheffield set to play at Wembley in finals

A group of primary school boys are proud to represent Sheffield United FC as they play in the finals of the EFL Utilita Kids Cup at Wembley, the home of football.

Friday, 27th May 2022, 7:41 am
Updated Friday, 27th May 2022, 7:43 am

In what they described as a 'once-in-a-lifetime' opportunity, these boys from Nether Green Junior School are confident they will 'crush' their opponents representing Luton Town FC this Sunday, May 29.

Thomas Hancock, the teacher who has been in charge of the team for the past year, said that the boys have developed a great deal of confidence after winning multiple games to get to the final round.

He said it all started in November last year when they took part in the city finals at Graves Park and managed to win the game against Arbourthorne Community Primary School 6-0.

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Nether Green Junior School football team who will play at Wembley on May 29.

They advanced to the local area finals, where they competed against schools representing Championship clubs from the North and the Midlands.

There, they competed against a school from Preston and triumphed 13-12 on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

Mr Hancock said: "The boys were superb under a lot of pressure. Thankfully, for us anyway, one of the Preston players missed and our captain, Lucas, slotted the penalty which meant that we won the local area final and we now progress to Wembley."

He said the team have been training with the Sheffield United Community Foundation, where they've had a number of matches outside the tournament, since the start of the year.

The boys will be up against a school representing Luton Town FC at the final.

He said: "We've played a number of games across the year, which has been great for our development as a team, and Sheffield United Community Foundation have been superb and have helped a lot with our football programme."

Unlike traditional football, the game lasts only seven minutes each side, but Mr Hancock predicted that a 2-1 victory would be enough for his team to claim the championship title.

‘A big deal’

Captain Lucas, who plays at the centre back, said: "I'm looking forward to playing on a Wembley pitch. I'm really excited and we will win."

Striker Caleb, who has been to Wembley several times, said: "I'm quite confident we will win. We’ve got a strong team."

Nathan, the squad's goalkeeper, said: "For me, it can be quite difficult especially when there are penalties against you but you have to do what comes.

"I predict we will win 2-0, that would give us a clean sheet but I reckon it could be something like 2-1. A close game."

Pierce, who plays in midfield, said winning and lifting the trophy would be something he looks forward to.

He said: “It’s just a once-in-a-lifetime experience...I predict 3-0 to us.”

Monty, who plays left back, said: “The team have a great chance of winning. I think it will be 3-2.”

Mason, who will be playing on the left, said: “I look forward to the excitement and the fun of how much it will and getting the experience for next year.”

Ollie, a central attacking midfielder, said: “I will be playing behind Caleb. I really want to win because it would be once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If we play as a team, we can win.”

The Utilita Kids Cup is a national tournament for junior footballers. It involves over 16,000 children, making it one of the country’s largest national football competitions.