John Spence Community High School and St Alban's RC Primary School won the opportunity to represent Newcastle United FC at the eighth annual Premier League Schools Tournament after beating off fierce competition from over 20 other schools to emerge victorious at the regional heats held earlier this month at Walker Activity Dome.
Both teams now go forward to the national finals at Anfield on May 9, St Alban's in the U11 mixed competition and John Spence in the U13 girls category.
The Premier League Schools Tournament is all about increasing participation in football for both boys and girls and offers schools nationwide the chance to team up with their local Premier League club. Each of the 20 clubs stage their own regional competition, in total over 8,000 footballers from more than 1,000 schools take part. On finals day, an expected 1,000 spectators will fill the seats of the famous stadium to see the Premier League Schools Tournament champions crowned and, for the first time, presented with a replica Premier League trophy.
All students participating on the day will enjoy a truly authentic Premier League experience - wearing their club's kit, using the Liverpool dressing rooms, walking out of the famous tunnel to the Premier League anthem, and playing their matches under the watchful eyes of Premier League match officials.
Marc Burnip, PE Teacher, at John Spence School said; "The Girls from John Spence Community High School really enjoyed the competition and are so happy they won. The organisation was excellent and the extra coaching sessions on offer in between games helped the girls stay warm in freezing cold conditions. I am so proud of my players for their effort, enthusiasm and commitment since the beginning of the year. We are looking forward to the national competition at Anfield in May and the girls are determined to do well and do the best they can when representing Newcastle Unied"
Lisa Bell Newcastle United Foundation Premier League 4 Sport coordinator said; "Both competitions were great spectacles of sport at its very best. The events were great examples of how school sport can retain its competitive edge whilst still being played in a positive, sporting and enjoyable environment. Credit must go to all of the players and teachers involved. John Spence and St Albans have earned the right to represent Newcastle United Football Club in the national finals at Anfield and we are very confident that both will have an experience that they will never forget!"