Competing against the best in the country gives pupils the opportunity to not only learn from the best but to raise their game against the best. Our under 11 team’s historic qualifying for the ISA Nationals had been eagerly anticipated and on Friday 11th March, the time had come - the ISA football nationals were here! The logistics sorted, the boys fully trained and raring to go - the only worry now, would Mr David recover from Covid in time?
Fortunately, he did!!
A lovely night on-site at the fantastic St. Georges Park meant the boys were fully rested for the main event. As we walked into the main facility, you could feel the excitement from everyone. It was a tough start for our boys, as a bye in the first round of matches, meaning they had to wait to get their first taste of the competition.
In their first game, the boys were unlucky to lose, playing some excellent attacking football. The next three games again showed the real strength of the competition, with two of the teams in our group going on to contest the final!
However, the boys never gave up and all it took was one goal to spark frantic celebrations and confidence soared. Two hard fought draws at the end of the group stage meant that we qualified for the Shield competition and on we went to a round robin league.
Our first match in the Shield saw the boys bristling with confidence and ended with our first win - 2 nil. That was followed up with a no-score draw, despite hitting the woodwork numerous times. This led to an agonising wait to see the result of the final match. As our closest rivals failed to win the WPS crowd erupted in jubilation as the result meant the boys crowned National Shield Winners 2022. We honestly could not have been prouder of the boys and particularly the way they worked together, persevered and respected each other through all the ups and downs.
The boys have made memories that will last a lifetime - something that you can’t put a price on and something that sport helps to make. A special thanks to all the accompanying parents for supporting us on our journey.