Youngsters Fly The Flag

STOKE CITY'S representatives in the Premier League Schools Tournament flew the flag with distinction for the Club at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium.

St Chad's C.E. Primary School represented the Potters in the Under-11 mixed tournament where they reached the semi-finals where they lost 2-0 to Crystal Palace.

Clayton Hall Business and Language College failed to make it out of their group in the Under-13 competition for girls, despite producing a number of excellent displays and holding eventual runners-up Hull City to a draw.

City's Head of Community Adrian Hurst attended the event and told "It was a marvellous experience for all of the youngsters involved.

"I doubt they will ever forget the day they took centre-stage at the Etihad Stadium in games that were refereed by leading Premier League officials.

"The boys and girls from St Chad's and Clayton Hall were a credit to the Club and both teams were unlucky not to make it all the way to the final of their particular competition."

In a Merseyside clean sweep, Plantation Primary School, representing Liverpool, won the Under-11 mixed tournament, while All Saints Catholic High School, representing Everton, won the Under-13 girls category.

Now in its ninth year, the Premier League Schools Tournament is all about increasing football participation for boys and girls, and offers schools nationwide the chance to team up with their local Premier League club. Each of the 20 Premier League clubs staged their own regional competition to select two schools to represent them in the finals.

Over 10,000 young footballers from more than 1,300 schools took part nationwide with the teams aiming to reach the Etihad. Spectators were invited to watch the Premier League Schools Tournament champions crowned and presented with a replica Premier League trophy.

All the students participating on the day received an authentic Premier League experience - wearing their Premier League club kit, using the Manchester City dressing rooms, and walking out of the tunnel to the Premier League anthem, and having their matches refereed by Premier League match officials.

The Schools Tournament will feature on a special episode of BBC Match of the Day Kickabout airing on Saturday 24 May at 7.30am.

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