Team: Caleb Ansen (GK), Jesse Ansen, Frankie Edwards, Billy Fishenden, Lee-Henry Heath, Jack Mahon and Justin Osagie.
On Thursday 10th March, seven students from NET Academies Trust travelled to the West Ham United Foundation in Beckton for West Ham’s ‘Finals Night’. The team reached Finals Night after winning their opening West Ham tournament last week. Finals Night saw 18 schools across Essex and London compete for one place to represent West Ham United at the Premier League National Finals which will be held in May at Stamford Bridge – the home of Chelsea FC!
At the group stage, the team knew that only the top two teams in each group would make it through to the Quarter Finals. From NET’s four games, they accumulated 8 points from two victories and two draws. At the end of the group stage, all of the school’s coaches and teachers were called over to find out their fate. Luckily for NET, they had finished runners-up of the Blue Group and would face the winners of the Yellow Group – Thameside Primary School. After 3 minutes of play, Jack gave NET a 1-0 lead after a mazy run and cool finish past the goalkeeper. He then doubled NET’s lead with a goal assist from Frankie. Jack saw his first effort saved by the goalkeeper, but made no mistake with his rebound, and NET won their Quarter Finals game 2-0.
The Semi-Finals would see NET take on Mead Primary School, who they had beaten 1-0 in the
group stage. NET missed a few early opportunities, and the score remained 0-0 throughout the majority of the game. With time running out, a throw from Lee-Henry was flicked on to Jesse who slammed the ball into the top corner securing a 1-0 victory for NET and a place in
Before the final match, Mr Bailey spoke to the team about working together, and enjoying the experience as much as possible. This is exactly what they did, as Frankie scored a hat trick in the final match, and NET secured a 3-1 victory! After celebrating ecstatically, the team were then awarded individual medals and trophies, as well as a team trophy. NET were crowned the West Ham Foundation regional Under 11 Mixed Premier League School’s Tournament Winners and now have the opportunity to represent West Ham at the Premier League National School’s Finals Tournament at Stamford Bridge.
Mr Bailey said,
“Firstly, the team have represented NET exceptionally well today and I am extremely proud of them. Out of 92 schools who have competed in West Ham’s tournaments, we have come out on top – what an achievement!”
The team will wear the West Ham United football kit at the national tournament as well as be trained by West Ham coaches before the finals, held a Stamford Bridge on Tuesday 23rd May 2017.