St Peter’s Catholic Primary School, Stalybridge, will have the opportunity to experience playing at a Premier League stadium at the English leg of the world’s biggest football tournament for 10-12 year olds.
32 primary school teams will descend on Stoke City’s Stadium to compete in the English Schools’ FA (ESFA) Danone Nations Cup National Finals, held on Saturday 20 May 2017.
The competition is organised into four categories which are: School Teams’ Cup, Small Schools’ Cup, Girls’ Cup and District Team Cup. Teams have progressed through a demanding qualifying process via District Rounds, County Rounds and Regional Finals to qualify for this prestigious event.
Marie Wendling, PR and Events Manager at Danone, said: “We are delighted to announce that the National Final of this year’s tournament will be held at Stoke City’s Stadium. The players have worked extremely hard to earn the reward of playing at a Premier League stadium. We hope that as many families and friends of the players can come along to show their support at what promises to be a fantastic occasion. There will be no entry fee for spectators to pay to enter the stadium, so we are hoping to attract as many people as possible to come along and enjoy the day. We are very excited about what will be a wonderful event on Saturday 20 May.”
Former Tottenham, Liverpool and England centre back John Scales, ambassador of the tournament said: “The mantra of the Danone Nations Cup is ‘believe in your dreams’. How fitting it will be to see the final at Stoke City Football Club where so many footballing superstars have played in the Premier League. I can’t wait to see the teams in action at the stadium. It will be a fantastic festival of high quality football, and an opportunity for children to follow in the footsteps of current Premier League players such as Erik Lamela, Phil Jones and Benik Afobe who once took part in the tournament.”
Darren Alcock, English Schools’ FA National Competitions Manager said: “It is an outstanding achievement for the teams that have reached the National Finals of the English Schools’ FA Danone Nations Cup. Over 6,000 school football teams entered this competition for boys and girls back in September. We have already been lucky enough to witness some tremendous examples of skill, teamwork and sportsmanship along the way and we hope that this will continue at Stoke City FC on Saturday 20 May. The memories created for the young players involved will last a lifetime. We are very grateful for the fantastic support that we have received from Danone and also from Stoke City Football Club for allowing us to use their fantastic facilities. ”
The winning Inter-District team, who represent a city or town’s Schools’ Football Association, will go on to represent England and play in the Danone Nations Cup World Finals, which will take place across the pond in the New York metropolitan area on 24th September. Last season saw the matches take place at the Stade De France in Paris, in front of over 30,000 spectators.
2.5m children worldwide take part in the unique FIFA approved tournament, the English leg of which is run by the English Schools’ Football Association. The Danone Nations Cup has been given the Government’s ‘Inspired by 2012’ seal of approval and is the annual highlight in Danone’s ongoing programme of support for healthy lifestyles through education, fun and fairplay, which includes its ‘Eat Like A Champ’ healthy eating initiative.