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As the season draws to a conclusion there is still plenty of games to look forward to. Monday night sees the last two individual schools finals take place when Codsall take on Repton in the Under 18 boys final, the third season running the sides have met, with both teams being succesful on one occassion.Wolgarston also play Repton in the boys Under 15 Final. Admission to the games is £2 for adults and £1 concessions.
On Tuesday the Under 14 squad travel to Worcestershire to play their penultimate MCF game and their final game will be against West Midlands the following week at Dudley College. The squad for the game is:
Details have been sent to the players by match co-ordinators.
On Saturday the Under 16's will play in the biggest game of the season at the Ricoh Arena when they meet Greater Manchester SFA in the ESFA Inter County Final. This is the first time Staffordshire have appeared in the final of this competition and the coaches and players are looking forward to what should be an amazing experience. Any supporters unable to attend or fellow pupils and teachers of the boys taking part will be able to watch the game on the ESFA TV channel as the game is being streamed live.
Manager Bailey Evans had a really difficult decision to make regarding the selection of the sixteen to play in the final as the squad of eighteen have performed admirably throughout the season and they have also qualified for the MCF semi final. As they topped their group will have a home tie against Humberside on the 1st or 6th of May with that final likely to be played on the 8th or 9th of May.
The Under 16 Girls will play their semi final in all liklihood on the 1st of May against Leicestershire or Nottinghamshire whilst the Under 14 Girls still have to play Shropshire at Home and Worcestershire away and wins in both games will give them the MCF title.
The Under 18 boys await the winners of Lincolnshire and Shropshire, a game being played on Monday the 24th, to find out their opponents in the MCF final which will be played at Stafford Town on the 8th of May or Melton Mowbray on the 9th of May depending on which team goes through from the semi final.
Congratulations go to Gemma Lawley and Aidan Stone, both pupils from Wolgarston School in Penkridge, who have completed their International programmes with Aidan collecting a winners medal for being part of the winning England team in the Centenary Shield competition. Hannah Hampton from EDA will be away with the England Under 17 girls team at the Euros in the next weeks and the Association wish her well.
|Under 16 B|
|Under 15 Boys|
|Under 14 Boys|
|Under 14 Girls|
|Under 16 Girls|
The Under 16 Boys lined up against league leaders West Midlands last night knowing that anything less than victory would see them eliminated from the Midland Counties Federation competition. What made the task doubly difficult was that in the meetings between the two sides over the past three years Staffordshire had failed to register a victory.
The game at Stafford Town was played with a blustery wind and a real chill in the air but the entertainment served up by both teams was enough to warm even the most cold hearted spectator. From the kick off both teams went at it hammer and tongs with no quarter given or asked. The game was played at a furious pace and both teams created and spurned chances as each enjoyed periods of domination. How the game was goaless at half time was a mystery but like a good meal seconds were eagerly anticipated.
With Josh Stack, Kyle Johnson and Declan Arber in full cry West Midlands were pushed back as Staffordshire had the lion's share of possession and the woodwork came to the aid of West Midlands on three occassions but it took a goal of real quality to break the deadlock. A pass of sliderule perfection from Luke Campbell split the defence and Declan Arber taking the ball in his stride calmly clipped the ball over the advancing keeper to give Staffordshire the advantage. If the first goal was all about teamwork the second was a spectacular individual effort from Josh Stack who beat three players and as the West Midlands defence retreated he smashed a curling left foot drive into the top corner from twenty yards, a solo effort which put Staffordshire into a dominant position.
As Staffordshire took their foot off the gas West Midlands who had now slid out of the play off places responded well and put Staffordshire under concerted pressure for the first time in the game. A combination of stout defending, good goalkeeping and good luck kept them at bay. With 15 minutes remaining the West Midlands were awarded a free kick 25 yards out and a superb free kick found the net. Game on.
Staffordshire from bossing the game now looked nervous and some of their composure disappeared as their opponents turned the screw but a third goal from the spot by Kyle Johnson sealed the points and a home tie against Humberside in the semi finals.
The result means the Staffordshire boys are unbeaten in competitive fixtures this season, a stat they hope will be maintained as their next game is the national Final against Greater Manchester at the Ricoh Arena.
Staffordshire Under 14 Girls were invited to take part in the Northern Counties Football Federation Easter Festival, held at Balby Carr School in Doncaster. Coach David Ebberson took an experimental XI giving several girls who will be available next season their debuts and they did not dissappoint
Playing shortened games the girls played really well suffering a 2-0 reverse at the hands of national finalists Lancashire, a creditable 0-0 draw against Durham and two 1-0 wins against Cheshire and Merseyside. Looking ahead the Under 14 side for next season looks very promising. It was also pleasing to receive an invitation to play in a festival and meet new opponents and the weather could not have been kinder.
Many thanks to the parents who supported the girls for this event.
The Under 16 Girls earned a home semi final fixture by winning an entertaining match against Worcestershire at Littleton FC last night. On a bone hard pitch which made playing football very difficult Staffordshire matched the physical approach of their opponents and ran out winners by 3-1.
Two excellent strikes from Shev Watson, who also notched a brace for Madeley in the Staffordshire Cup Final earlier in the week, and a 30 yard thunderbolt from Hannah Hampton were enough to see off Worcestershire and gain revenge for the home reversal against these opponents.
This win gives Staffordshire the Midlands West title for the fourth consecutive year and the girls continue to improve on an annual basis.
Hannah Hampton who scores so many goals for the team will almost certainly miss the semi final as she will be on duty for England U17's in the Euros and she goes with the best wishes of the squad and Association for a successful tournament.
The Under 16 Boys will entertain West Midlands SFA at Stafford TownFC on Monday 10th April with a 7-00pm KO in a must win game if they are to qualify for the MCF semi finals. The players will be keen to put right the mistakes in what was probably their poorest performance of the season at Shropshire and the players will be keen to impress the coaches due to the proximity of the national finals, which have now been confirmed as taking place on Saturday 29th of April with a 12 Noon KO, at the Ricoh Arena, the home of Coventry City.
The following players have been selected and should report at 6-00pm with the usual dress code applying.
Today several schools are in action at the Girls Festival of football at SGP. Madeley HS, Clayton Hall, Wolgarston, De Ferrers Academy, Christchurch Middle, Alleynes Academy, Chesterton, Friary and the Hart will all be taking part.
The boys Under 12 Final is also at SGP this afternoon and that will be between Oldfields Hall and Moorside HS with Moorside hoping to add a second trophy after their win in the Under 14 Competition.
Tonight the Under 16 Boys final between Sir Thomas Boughy and Sir Graham Balfour takes place at Stafford Town FC with a 6-45pm KO. Admission will be £2 adults and £1 concessions.
On Wednesday the Under 16 Girls travel to Littletonto play Worcestershire and a 2-0 win will be enough to secure the Midlands West title and give them a home tie against Leicestershire. Anything less will mean an away game against Derbyshire.
Taking part in that game, either playing up front or in midfield will be EDA's Hannah Hampton. However Hannah fulfilled a very different role recently when playing in goal for England Ladies Under 17's where she was a vital cog in the team which qualified top of their elite group to play in the European Finals in the Czech Republic during the summer. .
We are very proud of her as a County and it is great to see so many Staffordshire girls making forward progress in the woman's game.
The following girls have been selected by coach Kieran Newey to play in a make or break fixture against Worcestershire at Littleton FC on Wednesday 5th of April at 7-30 pm. Players should report as near to 6-30 as possible and usual dress code applies.
A good win would give Staffordshire the opportunity of a home tie in the semi finals of the MCF, a defeat would mean an away tie against Derbyshire. The girls have qualified for the semi finals for the sixth consecutive year.
The under 18 Boys entertained Worcestershire in an MCF game on Monday at Stafford Town FC. A Joe Hartshorne hat trick, a second in consecutive games, and further goals from Tom Edge and Connor Grant ensured that Staffordshire ran out comfortable winners in a game that they could have won by a cricket score .
The game was soured by an horrific tackle on Will Byers which could have ended in serious injury had Will not been alert. The offending player received a red card on top of the yellow he had already collected only minutes earlier for another poor challenge and perhaps the second could have been avoided with action from the coaches.
The result ensured Staffordshire a place in the final of the Midland Counties in May with the team finishing top of their group after an outstanding campaign.
The Under 16 Boys travelled to Shrewsbury for an MCF game and after a very poor first half found themselves trailing by 1-0. The team then compounded their error count with the concession of two further goals early in the second half to find themselves 3-0 down, playing poorly and staring a potential heavy defeat in the face.
This team however have character in spades and when Ethan Cartwright fired home from close range the fight back was on. Shropshire suddenly looked vulnerable and when Owen Hall lobbed the keeper to bring the score to 3-2 Staffordshire began to look like a side again. Staffordshire were now in the ascendancy but as the clock ticked down it looked too little too late but a wriggling run into the box from Tommy Wilkinson saw Staffordshire awarded a dubious penalty which Owen Hall finished with aplomb. Declan Arber almost compounded the misery for Shropshire when he headed over from close range in the last seconds of the game.
Once again the boys made life really difficult for themselves but their resilience in the face of adversity means that they should never be written off, a quality they will need in abundance as they face ties against West Midlands and Greater Manchester in the coming weeks.
Staffordshire School's Football Association is having a wonderful season so far and in truth no matter how the results pan out between now and the end of the season it will have been a successful season. Last season was very special with a group of girls delivering the County a National Trophy for the first time and from a group who had been there at the start of development stage of girls football in the county. Six representative teams and a competition structure for schools in Staffordshire is what is delivered by the County Schools FA.
The individual schools competitions provide an opportunity for schools to play other schools from outside their area and then to experience a final played on a stadium pitch. The County SFA try to make the finals a special occassion and an experience for all participants that they will remember for a long time. It seems to be working as more schools than ever are entering those competitions.
The representative sides for boys and girls give the most talented footballers an opportunity to play football against other County sides who do the same and so creating high quality experiences and promoting excellence. All of this is delivered by a group of volunteers whose only reward is to see the opportunities presented to large numbers of boys and girls.
In Staffordshire we are blessed with a fantastic group of people who give of their time freely and many have jobs and families but still manage to find time to support Schools football in Staffordshire. As a group they do not have any of their children involved in teams or competitions and thus nepotism is not a word that can be used against our volunteers as they have no vested interest in the teams, unlike many club sides.
It is thus disappointing when these people are criticised and belittled, sometimes on social media, for doing what they believe is worthwhile. It is the fastest way to put them off taking part and frankly without them County Football withers and dies. Mistakes are made, decisions which upset players and parents are made but in what is considered the best interests of the team and all made in good faith.These volunteers are diamonds and should be valued as such.
The ethos of the game preached by our volunteers makes the football played under the auspices of Staffordshire SFA the most disciiplined that youngsters play . Staffordshire representative teams have played over 300 games in the past six years and there has not been a red card issued and five yellow cards have been brandished, five too many but it demonstrates how the County wishes to run its teams.
We need more volunteers as there was never a truer saying that 'many hands make light work'.
If you think you have something to offer contact the website.
Manager David Ebbersson has named the girls below to be invited to be part of the Stafffordshire SFA Under 14 girls squad for the forthcoming season. The girls who have been unsuccesful but who have been involved in the trial process will be invited to number of coaching/traing events once a venue has ben secured.
The standard of player improves year on year and David will be writing to those who have missed out on selection and offering some feedback on where the girls can hopefully improve.
Please contact the website with acceptance of the invitation and incluse DOB and a mobile contact number.
De Ferrers Academy
Sir Graham Balfour
The Hart School
Managers Dan Dawson and Gary Spruce have named rhe boys below as members of the Under 14 Boys squad for the forthcoming season. Congratulations to all the boys selected and commiserations to those who have not made the cut this year.
The match co-ordinator Mark Warren will be in touch with match arrangements fixtures etc in due course.
|McIntosh Ruben||King Edward VI Stafford|
|Taylor Jack||Chase Terrace|
|Nicholls Tom||Cheadle Academy|
|Tibbs Eliott||Cheslyn Hay|
|Martin Reece||John Taylor HS|
|Pearsall Charlie||John Taylor HS|
|Yeomans Lucas||John Taylor HS|
|Yarwood George||Landau Forte Amington|
|Carter Callum||Penkridge Middle|
|Bates Sonny||St Peters|
|Barrett Sam||Trentham HS|
|Nixon Tom||Trentham HS|
|Braxton Lloyd Aidan||
All parents need to contact the website to accept the invitation and provide a mobile number please.
The girls named below have been selected to represent Staffordshire Schools FA for the forthcoming season.
Can all parents check that the school is correct and send confirmation to the website and include a mobile phone number and date of birth.. The match co-ordiator s Julie and Tim will be in contact in due course.
|Tiffany Whelan||Cannock Chase HS|
|Grace Tolmie||Chase Terrace HS|
|Courtney Ward||Trentham HS|
|Beth Roberts||Wolstanton HS|
|Megan Plant||Blythe Bridge|
|Lydia Burgess||Clayton Academy|
|Chloe Williams||Cannock Chase HS|
|Nuala Miszkiel||St Thomas More|
|Charlie Braganca||Excel Academy|
|Naomi McCallion||Robert Sutton|
|Sophie Corden||Clayton Academy|
|Sophie Howe||Alleynes Uttoxeter|
The boys named below are invited to be part of the Staffordshire schools'FootballAssociation squad for season 2016-17.
Congratulations to the boys selected and commiserations to those who have missed out this time. The selection process was extremely difficult as there were so many boys who were talented and the margins were so fine. All parents of the succcessful boys will be contacted by the match co-ordinator with details regarding games and expectations etc. The first confirmed fixture is the annual match against Repton School on Saturday the 8th of October when they will play the schools' Under 16 XI.
@staffsschoolsfa will allow all to follow what is going on and will supplement the information available on the website.
Follow the account which is being run by Under 15 team Manager Bailey Evans.