It is quite unbelievable that there is not one player from the north of our County who has been nominated to trial for the Under 18 squad. Nor one from an area that contains Newcastle Under Lyme, Stoke on Trent and Leek as well as parts of the Staffordshire Moorlands.
4 years ago three boys from these areas represented England school's under 18's and helped them win the Cenenary Shield. It is a staggering fact that not one school or college has bothered to nominate a player to trial for their County and thus allow the most gifted players to be nominated for regional trials, the first stage of International Selection.
Ther are also large parts of the central and Southern areas which are under represented in the nomination process. It is difficult to believe that boys do not value being selected for their County. Such apathy will ineveitably lead to County Football in Staffordshire ceasing to exist and that will also end individual schools competitions et al.
Congratulations to the staff of the 7 or 8 schools who have bothered to respond to the repeated requests for nominations.
If there are any players out there, especially those attending colleges who would like to be considered for the trials send a brief CV and request to the website.
The girls named below will be invited to take partin a final session before the selection of the squad for season 2014-15.
Players and parents should look at the website reglarly for updates and new information.
The first Under 18 boys trial is due to take place next Tuesday at Walton High School Stafford. So far only one school, EDA, has nominated any players for the trials. This is the age group which have been most successful in the recent past and this is the age group at which players, if good enough can represent England.
Colleges have recently not nominated players. If players are in full time education and attending a college and would like ti=o be considered for a trial then they should send a brief playing CV and their details to the website.
All Under 16 boys who represented the County last year are eligible if they stayed at school.
Due to unforseen circumstances the trial planned for this Friday has been postponed. Manager Gary Spruce will re-arrange the date which will be in the next two weeks.
Please keep checking the website for details and apologies to anyone who had made arrangements.
The Under 16 and Under 14 Girls squads will be posted in due course. The management of both teams are going to have tough jobs making selections.
Staffordshire Schools Football Association are grateful to all those schools who nominated players and are appreciative of the parents who brought the girls to trial. However there are still girls in Staffordshire who are missing out on the opportunities provided by County Football and it is a great shame that pressures applied or lack of knowledge of the trials acts as a barrier to girls achieving and perhaps realising their true potential.
The sole aim of the Association is to give girls the same chances that boys have enjoyed for many years but with the apathy and lack of regard by some schools, girls are being disadvantaged..
The real encouragement is how the girls game is progressing and the number of girls who display a full range of skills and top class technique. The standard in Staffordshire has rocketed in the past 3 years in the County squads due to the good work being done in the centres of excellence and the grassroots clubs. SSFA look forward to another season of progress with girls football.
Rather like Sunderland trying to be the first place to return an MP during a general election, Sir Thomas Boughy seem to reserve the right to be the first school to return a result in the Individual Schools Competition.
Led by Chris Mathews, who is a shining light in terms of organisation of fixtures in County competitions the school Under 16 team, who were beaten finalists in this age group last season, fell at the first hurdle suffering a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Biddulph HS
The management team have selected the boys named below to play in an invitation game against Warwickshire Schools Football Association at Rugby Junior FC on Wednesday 17th of September. The game will consist of 3 25minute thirds and is an excellent chance for the selected players to showcase their talent in a competative situation.
All players should confirm their availability through the website contact.
Players need to report to the ground for 6-30 wearing school uniform. As there are a lot of players on this occasion we would wish players to provide black shorts and socks. All kit is normally provided for matches.
The postcode and address are Rugby Town Juniors FC, Kilsby Lane, Rugby CV21 4PN
An early release letter from school can be sent when confirmation details have been secured.
When confirming details please include e mail address, mobile telephone number, name of schools PE teacher.
The website is the principal means of communication and everyone should check before travelling.
Manager Bailey Evans has posted the squad selected for a friendly against Newcastle College on Monday 22nd September at Newcastle College.
All players need to e mail the website with the following details;
Parental email address and mobile telephone number, name of teacher in charge of football at the school that they attend. Players who do not respond within 48 hours will be regarded as withdrawing from selection.
Congratulations to all boys selected for the game.
The Under 14 Girls trials will take place on Tuesday 9th of September at Walton High Scool Stafford, starting at 4-30.
All girls who attended the first trail are invited to attend the second trial, as well as players who represented the County last year in either competition matches or festivals.
Players need to bring a full playing kit and suitable clothing for the prevalent weather conditions.A list of players will appear on the website later tomorrow.
Any player in the excellence programme in Y8 or 9 who may have missed the first trial and who would like to be considered should contact the website.
Last years players are Hannh Hampton, Molly Bruton, Megan Brett, Demi McCalliog, Shev Watson.
The Under 15 boys trials will takeplace at Newcastle College on Monday 8th of September starting at 5-00pm.
Managers Neil Davies and Gary Spruce have asked the players named below to attend.
Players should report in school uniform and bring full playing kit with them and try to be at the college as near to 4-30 as possible.
Anyone who is unavailable for any reason should make contact through the website.
A map reference and directions are available in earlier postings on the website or by visiting the Newcastle Under Lyme College website.
The first trial will take place on Monday 8th of September at Newcastle College, Newcastle under Lyme, starting at 5-00pm. Players need to report at or as near to 4-30 as possible.
Players need to bring full playing kit with them. Directions and a map reference are on the Under 16 boys trial information.
All players who represented the County at Under 16 last year must attend as well as the players in last seasons Under 14 squad who have moved up into year 10 for the current academic year.
Players named below from the open trial as well as those who made contact also need to attend.
The Under 14 Girls trials are 9th September not December. Apologies for any confusion.
Details to follow.
The Under 15 Boys and the Under 16 Girls trials dates have been set for Monday 8th of September at Newcastle College starting at 5-00pm.
The Under 14 Girls second trial will be held at Walton High School on Tuesday 9th of September at 4-30pm
An update on names, travel information etc will be posted later today.
The Under 15 Boys trials will in all liklihood be held in the week beginning the eighth of September. The under 16 girls and Under 14 girls as well as the Under 18 boys trials will also be held during the same week.
The venues and times will be confirmed on the website as soon as they are confirmed and the lists of players required will also be posted.
The second Under 16 Boys trials will take place at Newcastle College on Thursday 4th September starting at 5-00pm.
All players need to report to team manager Bailey Evans as near to 4-30pm as possible.
All players listed below and all players who played in last seasons Under 15 squad should attend.
Use the link below for directions
The draws for the Individual Schools competitions have been posted on the competitions section of the website.
Limit dates and rules can also be found there.
The boys named below are invited to the second trial which is provisionally arranged for the 4th of September at a time and venue to be decided. Keep aware by following the website.
The first trials for the Under 16 and Under 14 girls will take place at Walton HS in Stafford on Monday 14th July starting at 4-00pm.
There has been a large number of nominations for the Under 16 girls age group and with the players eligible from the group last season a strong squad is expected. However the number of nominations for the Under 14 girls is very poor, so poor that it will be a struggle to run a team next season if there is not enough players available of the right quality.Players should be in Y8 or 9 next year to qualify for the team.
There is a lot of girls football going on in Staffordshire and the reputation of the County is growing nationally so if there are girls out there who go to school in Staffordshire and play football at a high enough standard then ask your teacher to recommend you theough the website.
Any girls who are in the excellence programme should attend. Three Staffordshire girls have been selected for England in the past two year and we hope to keep that going this coming year.
The trial dates for all age groups will be posted on the website tomorrow once final confirmation of dates and venues have been agreed.
Schools will be receiving their nomination forms in the next 24hours and all are urged to nominate their very best players and give them the opportunity of representing their County. All national competitions that can be entered have been entered and it would be really good to see some of our sides have a good run in these competitions.
Individual Schools entries are well down on previous years and many schools who have been succesful in the competitions have failed to enter this year. There are very few entries from the North of the county and schools are misssing out on the opportunity to play opposition that they do not meet in their local Association competitions. A list of schools entered is in another news article further down the page.
The following schools have so far entered the competitions. Many schools who have won the County Title in previous years have not entered this year and the numbers entering the Under 11 competition to dat e make it unviable. The closing date is next Wednesday 3rd July. Late entries may be considered but there will be a premium cost attached.
Interestingly there are very few entries from Stoke on Trent Schools.
Please get your entries in as soon as possible. Copy and paste the entry form on the competitions page or make contact through the website.
Sir Graham Balfour
Landau Forte VI
John Taylor Academy
Landa Forte Amington
Stafford Sports College
St John Fisher
Landau Forte QEMS
King Edward VI Lich
Blythe Bridge HS
King Edward VI Stafford
The Staffordshire Schools Under 16 girls appeared in a MCF Final for the first time having won the eastern division of the competition with a 100% record . They travelled to Burton Joyce in Nottingham to play the Eastern Division and national champions Nottinghamshire who were current holders of the trophy.
On a beautiful evening, in warm sunshine, Stafforshir kicked off on a pitch in perfect condition. The Staffordshire girls started very well and soon had Nottinghamshire backpeddling and a cross shot was spilled by the Nottinghamshire keeper but bounced to safety. With skipper Millie Elson driving them on from midfield Staffordshire were well on top and when pressure from Kelsey Richardson and Sophie Garrett forced a corner, Elson provided a wicked inswinger which beat everyone and crossed the line to put Staffordshire ahead.
Nottinghamshire were always dangerous and flying machine and England International Ellie Brazil proved a constant thorn in the Staffordshire side but a defence well set up with sweeper Lucy Marshall in good form were able to cope with the occassional scare. Staffordshire spurned another chance but were on top, until after 17 minutes the defining moment of the match occurred. Millie Elson set off on another driving run and beat two players at pace before being brought down waist high by a cynical challenge from a Notts defender. The referee allowed Stafffordshire an advantage which came to nothing but Millie lay on the turf in some distress.
She had to leave the field with a serious shoulder injury yet the offender remained unpunished leaving Staffordshire without their inspirational skipper. However Holly Gibson stepped up to the plate to lead a superb Staffordshire rearguard action. Nottinghamshire created and missed chances but the Staffordshire girls threw heart and soul into trying to maintain their slim advantage. 1-0 half time.
Notts launched a second half onslaught throwing everything at Staffordshire who were struggling to get out of their own half. They were however throwing bodies into tackles and blocks and working very hard to contain the much older Notts girls. Nottinghamshire equalised 12 minutes into the second half when Staffordshire's season long weakness from set pieces was exposed. A free kick, launched into the box was not dealt wth and England International Steggles bundled the ball over the line.
Having equalised there was a degree of trepidation that Notts, who were so dominant, would run away with the tie as they had done in the semi final when disposing of Worcestershire by 10-0. Not so. Staff's battened down the hatches with a determined and resolute defence of their goal. As the final minutes approached the heat seemed to have affected Notts more and Staffordshire were looking physically stronger despite the enormous work rate that they had maintained throughout the game. It was heartbreaking for all concerned when Notts snatched the winner with 1minute left on the clock. A corner bobbled around in the area before being bundled in at the near post leaving Staffordshire on the wrong end of 2-1 scoreline.
Games hinge on specific incidents and losing Millie Elson was one such instance. She was still in hospital at midnight awaiting results of X Rays and the whole Staffordshire camp wishes her well.
All were so proud of our girls who put in a monumental effort and despite the initial disappointment should be very proud of their achievements this season. One step further next year.