TALENTED Walkwood CE Middle School footballers are preparing to showcase their skills on the national stage after netting impressive victories at Midlands level.
Walkwood’s year five/six girls’ team, run by PE teacher Rich Macdonald, have qualified for the Premier League Primary Stars National Finals which take place at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium on May 23.
The side battled their way through an initial qualifying tournament of 20 teams and then followed this up with a convincing display in the tournament of champions featuring teams from across the Midlands.
Walkwood’s girls will now represent West Bromwich Albion in an exciting but tough group consisting of Arsenal, Swansea City, Huddersfield Town and Everton in next week’s 20-team national finals.
Mr Macdonald said: “The school is so immensely proud of the girls and all they have achieved as a team this year. We look forward to the experience and go to Leicester full of confidence and pride.
“We would like to thank HD Property Services (Midlands) Ltd for sponsoring our girls in the finals with a generous contribution that has allowed us to buy the girls a finals jacket they can keep as a memento of their day.”
Meanwhile, Walkwood’s year six boys’ team have reached the English Schools’ Football Association seven-a-side National Finals by winning the Midlands Finals in Nottingham.
The school qualified for the Midlands Finals by winning the Worcestershire Finals and were grouped with schools representing Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Wolverhampton and Birmingham.
Walkwood went through to face Whitchurch (Shropshire) and a 1-0 win booked a place in the final against West Bridgford of Nottingham.
A 1-1 draw led to a penalty shoot-out which Walkwood won and they will now compete in Saturday’s National Finals at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry as part of the final eight schools in the country.
Mr Sanders and Mr Macdonald are incredibly proud of the boys’ efforts.
They said: “The lads had to pull together as we had four players away on a cricket tour.
“The boys keep finding ways to win and there is a great team spirit within the group. The finals will be another level of challenge for them having won all seven and nine-a-side tournaments since they started in year five last year.
“We would like to once again thank Oulsnam Estate Agents (Redditch) for sponsoring our kit. It seems to have helped bring us some luck and we hope this continues on Saturday.”