On Friday 15th March Mr Hodgson and I took 7 boys from the school football team over to Walker Activity Dome to compete in the Premier League's School Tournament. We lost Khy Madine on Thursday through illness which was a massive blow as Khy has been a rock in the heart of the defence. I was gutted for Khy as it was to be his only chance to compete in this tournament as he leaves our school in the summer.
We arrived just in time for the draw to take place. We were the last team to be pulled out of the hat. We were placed in group 4 along with Walkergate, Newburn, Ravenswood, South Street and St Lawrence's. So we knew we had at least 5 games on the day. The top 2 in every group would qualify for the quarter final stage of the tournament. I challenged our lads to try and get out of the group and see where that took us.
We were the first game on our pitch and we started very slowly. We conceded a very sloppy goal from a corner and lost our opening game which is never a good thing. But perhaps this was the wake up call we all needed. I then stressed after the first game that it was now knockout football, if we lost again I thought we would be out. The lads seemed to love that as from then on we went on a 6 match winning streak which took us all the way to the Final and a chance at winning the tournament and going on to represent Newcastle United FC at Anfield.
In the remaining 4 group games we played some fantastic football and scored some superb goals from Cameron and Joe. But I must say we defended as a team, stuck together and all worked our socks off. Jake keeping clean sheets and pulling off some excellent saves along the way. In those 4 games we only conceded 1 goal. This took us through to the quarter final. We played Ponteland Community Middle School, and its fair to say we rode our luck, but Cameron popped up with a poachers goal. We then had to make tackles and blocks and Jakey kept us in it. Jack Cook was superb in this game, but he was all day in defence for me, a real leader and the rock I thought we had lost in Khy. This put us through to a semi final vs Greenfields. I said to the lads we have at least 2 more games left as there was a 3rd and 4th place play off, but I didn't want us to be playing for 3rd or 4th, I wanted us to be competing in the final. The lads again were superb in this game, Cameron got the winner again and got his 6th of the tournament, he must of been top goalscorer on the day overall. We won the game and were through to the final. We were up against St Albans. I don't want to say to much about the final because we were outplayed and lost the game fair and square, but the lads were fantastic all day, they surpassed my expectations and were a real credit to themselves and our school. I can not speak highly enough about their effort, work rate, team work and skill levels. Again they made me very proud and I know Mr Hodgson was aswell.
One game away from Anfield, never mind, it's not like it was Old Trafford or St James' Park we had missed out on.
These are our results from the day.
Premier League Schools Tournament 15/3/13
HCPS 0 vs Walkergate 1
HCPS 1 vs St Lawrence's 0 Cameron
HCPS 2 vs South Street 0 Joe 2
HCPS 2 vs Newburn 0 Cameron, Joe
HCPS 2 vs Ravenswood 1 Cameron 2
HCPS 1 Vs Ponteland 0 Cameron
HCPS 1 vs Greenfields 0 Cameron
HCPS 0 vs St Albans 5