A Leeds SCHOOLS FA side is preparing to fly the flag for England in a junior World Cup after a brilliant national triumph booked an exciting adventure to Africa.
Last season’s Leeds Schools FA Under-11s defied all expectations by winning the National Schools FA Cup last season, the victors of which would go on to represent England in the Danone Nations Cup in Morocco.
And the young Whites’ side date with destiny is now just one week away with the competition begging a week today as Leeds, representing England, take on Mexico, Portugal and Egypt in their group stage. The young Whites will face hot opposition with other nations sending junior sides from teams such as Borussia Dortmund, PSG and Deportivo la Coruna.
The magnitude of Leeds’ achievement is further exemplified considering that Leeds Schools FA have a policy of not allowing academy-contracted players to play within their team.
However, this policy is not implemented by other Schools FA, and they managed to beat the likes of North London, Bath, Redditch and Jersey Schools FAs to win the national title last year - all of which had academy players within their teams.
In preparation for the Nations Cup, the team are being trained by England coaches and are having sessions at Carrington Training Ground.
Horfsorth St Margaret’s have been particularly key to the Leeds success story with the club responsible for 13 out of the 26 players used by the team last season.
Six of the 14 players making the trip to Morocco are also from the Maggies.
Darren Allison, father of Horsforth star Ross Allison, said: “It’s a fantastic achievement for a school boys team that beat Academy teams on their way to Nations Cup Final.”
This year’s Leeds Schools FA Under-11s took on Nottingham in a friendly on Saturday and enjoyed a 4-1 victory.
A Ben Moss screamer set the tone for Leeds who doubled their advantage with a Bradley Pride penalty awarded after Leo Diffey’s pile-driver had been hand balled.
Nottingham, then reduced the arrears but a two-goal lead was restore when Max Pearson’s shot was parried to Kron who squared for Pride to bag his second.
Sam Appleyard then set up Alfie Wright for Leeds’ fourth after the break.
A mixed Leeds Schools FA Under-11s and Under-12s team fell to a 7-2 defeat in another friendly with Harrison and Makaay getting the goals for Leeds.
Elsewhere, Kirkstall Crusaders Under-16s made it three wins out of three in Division B of the Harrogate & District Junior League with a 10-3 crushing of visiting Nidd United.
Paddy McGill hit a double hat-trick, supported by a brace from Rinor Ejupi plus goals from Frankie Gibson and Eliels Anku. Captain Ellis Redfearn took the Crusaders player of the match award but Neel Chavda, Faisal Sheikh and James Mellor also shone.
Kirkstall Crusaders Under-15s edged a 3-2 verdict at home to Weetwood Juniors in Division Two of the Garforth League.
Lewis Nelson beat five players before giving Kirkstall a lead which was doubled when George Campbell stroked a penalty into the top corner.
Barney Mguni’s fine solo effort gave Kirkstall their third but at 3-2 the Crusaders were indebted to a fine save from Travis Byrne. Jumarr Kye Johnson took the Crusaders player of the match award with Luis Arcenio and captain Jordan Thorne also excelling.
Brighouse Juniors Under-13s saw them through their toughest game of the season so far with a 6-4 success at home to Ossett Albion Under-13s.
Adam Swallow hit a brace for Brighouse for whom Luke Smith, Ben Brearley, Silas Ennis and Tarun Rodway-Anand added one each.
Kirkstall Crusaders Under-12s continued their unbeaten start to their Garforth League Division Four campaign with a 3-0 triumph at home to local rivals Bramley Phoenix.
Reece McDowell, Haddley Speight and Jermaine Ashby all notched for Kirkstall for whom Ava Finister took the player of the match award with Jasmine Jackson exceptional in defence.
Kirkstall Crusaders Under-10s were in action against New Park Bulldogs for two games with Harrison Galdas-Smith netting in the first encounter in which Joshua Dooley excelled in goal.
Kirkstall’s Jack Price netted in the second clash with Ben Maxfield taking the Crusaders player of the match award.
Ossett Town thrashed Hepworth United 10-4 to maintain their position at the top of the West Riding County Premier, writes DAISY YOUNG.
Ossett remain level on points with Hemsworth but top on goal difference after four games played.
Ossett’s goals came through Chloe Holt with four goals, Danielle Sidebottom with a hat-trick and Caroline Omboyi with a brace in addition to a Lisa Varley strike.
Hemsworth kept the pressure on Ossett with a 3-1 victory over Brighouse Athletic. Brighouse went into half-time with a 1-0 lead despite Hemsworth missing a penalty and Helena Kiely having two attempts cleared off the line.
But a brace from Amy Lassu and a penalty from Katy Dewrow saw Hemsworth stage a comeback to gain all three points.
AFC Gledhow are still waiting for their first league victory of the new campaign after they suffered a heavy 6-1 victory at home to Altofts. This was the visitors’ first victory and it moved them up to fourth in the league. Bradford Park Avenue beat Tingley Athletic Reserves 3-0 to go fifth.
Battyeford Belles Firsts remain top of Division One on goal difference after their 4-0 victory at Ilkley Town. Bradford City A are level on points with Battyeford at the top after they secured a 3-2 win over Hebden Royd United. Leeds Medics & Dentists thrashed Wetherby Athletic 7-1 to move fifth while Silsden Firsts kept up the pressure on the top two with a 2-0 triumph at Oulton Athletic.
In Division Two, Middleton Park gained their first win of the season as they beat Brighouse Town Development 3-1 at home to move off the bottom. Farsley Celtic Reserves beat Battyeford Belles Reserves 4-3 to move into second while Tyseral drew 2-2 at home with Tingley Athletic Reserves.
Wigton Moor maintained their perfect start to the Division Three season with a 3-2 victory over Silsden. Juliana Obehi Eigbe’s brace and Sarah Smart’s strike gave Wigton all three points.
Amaranth beat Farsley Celtic Development 4-3 to keep up the pressure on Wigton while third-placed Dewsbury Rangers beat bottom of the table Boroughbridge 5-1 at home.