Two teams from Exeter CITY’s Community Trust’s Premier League Kicks programme were given the chance to participate in a national tournament held in Manchester on Thursday 12th April joining over 500 teenagers from 89 teams as part of the PL Kicks cup.
Players were selected to represent Exeter after regularly attending Exeter CITY Community Trust Premier League Kicks project, which provides FREE sports coaching sessions to young people of ages 8-19 and is delivered over a variety of areas in our community including Wonford, Merrivale, Tiverton & Cranbrook .
The project is funded & supported by several partners including the Premier League, Exeter City Council Community Safety Partnership, Exeter City Council Board Grant & ECC Ward Grants (Priory and St Loyes) & Devon County Council & aims to inspire more young people to get active within their local area and help them realise their potential
The programme focuses on getting children active through a variety of sports & helps to support young people to progress into positive pathways whilst working alongside partners to create safe and strong communities.
Young people from Wonford, Cranbrook and Merrivale represented the football club on the day in an Under 16s Boys tournament and Under 16s Girls Tournament. The boys team finished a respectable 5th place out of 8 in their group, which saw them take on teams such as Cardiff City, Derby County, Sheffield United, Norwich City, QPR, MK Dons and Manchester City. The team came away with 1 win 3 draws and 3 losses with Brandon Pym scoring the only goal of the game against Norwich City.
The under 16s Girls had a very successful tournament in which they topped their group, with their most noticeable result being a thumping 5-0 win over Liverpool, goal scorers where made up of Georgie Gresham (1), Erin Romanowski (1), Sophie Gillies (3). The group stages also saw them record a 2-0 win against West Bromich Albion with Kelsey Salter & Sophie Gillies scoring. The girls then went on to beat Fulham and West Ham in the knockout stages before meeting two times PL Kicks winners Newcastle United in the Semi Finals which they won 1-0. The final saw the Exeter City representatives play Swansea City which ended 1-1 after full time. The game was decided on penalty kicks in which Exeter City won thanks to two great saves from Elena Pearce.
PL Kicks coordinator Pete Eveleigh explained "Premier League Kicks has given many of the young people we work with the opportunity to be active and help make a difference to their local communities. It’s great to be able to offer this great opportunity as a reward for their time and commitment to attending sessions such as the one in Wonford on a Friday evening, although it's free they have to show commitment and respect to coaches and the facilities we use to put on these weekly sessions. To be able to come back as national champions is fantastic to help us promote opportunities for increase participation in this great scheme and encourage more young people to come along and have the opportunity to represent their local football club."The Kicks team work very closely with all our other Community Trust project leads with Donna Langdon Womens & Girls Development Co ordinator & Abbie Britton, Football Devlopment Officer both leading the girls team in Manchester & have attended Kicks sessions giving young females positive role models to aspire to and work with, it's great to see their hard work with these girls is paid back with success like this. Donna and Abbie also support girls football from complete beginner level at age 5 right through to Exeter College Academy.