A PRIMARY School in Warwick is one step away from progressing to the national final of the world’s biggest junior football tournament.
Budbrooke Primary School is celebrating after reaching the regional finals of the Danone Nations Cup, which is a tournament for 10-12-year-olds.
The seven-a-side team has progressed successfully through the county knockout rounds of the tournament, which included a penalty shoot-out win in the last four of the area final, and they are now preparing for the regional finals in Nottingham later this month.
“We’ve had a lot of success in the tournament in recent years and last year we reached the regional finals too,” said the school’s PE coordinator and team manager Luke Brereton.
“All the children have loved taking part in the competition so far and it would be great for them and the school if we could go one better than last year’s team. It has been a fantastic achievement for Budbrooke.
“They’re a great bunch. They listen brilliantly to tactics and they respond to advice and most importantly play football with a smile on their face.
“The penalty shoot-out was pretty tense but it was great to see the children cope with the pressure and our goalkeeper pulled off a magnificant save.
“All the parents and former players have been really supportive too.”
Around 2.5million children worldwide take part in the Danone Nations Cup, with 3,000 schools competing in the English leg run by the English Schools’ Football Association.
Budbrooke have played no fewer than 14 games to get this stage in the tournament. The next stop is the regional finals at Riverside Sports Complex in Nottingham on March 19 Brereton admits the team are excited about the prospect of making the national finals.
He added: “That’s something we’re aiming for. It’s not just about success, it’s about the children learning life skills and it would be great for them to continue their journey in the competition.
“We are looking forward to continuing the success in the Regional finals.”