National Competitions

DNC Small Schools’ Champions Enjoy Some Premier League Action

On Saturday 27th October Hale Primary School’s National Small Schools Champion team were rewarded for their achievement with a day at Southampton FC…

Following the ESFA Danone Nations Cup National Finals at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena in May 2018, Hale Primary were crowned U11 National Small Schools’ Champions, defying all odds in that the school has only 15 pupils per year group across many of the years – truly the definition of a ‘small school’! With the school also lacking in a playing field, the team’s football training often took place on a local green, which the children had to share with ponies and cattle!

The National Champions were awarded with a truly fitting reward in late October with a Premier League match day adventure and they have kindly sent us the following report summing up their day…


“The Hale team and a few lucky parents were invited to attend the home game against Newcastle United as Southampton’s guests. It was lovely to see them all together again after our incredible football journey last year, 6 of the 9 team members have now gone off to secondary school. The day started with a tour of the stadium which included the home dressing room and a chance to talk to the Saints staff that look after the players and help them prepare for their matches. The children enjoyed finding out about pre match routines and post match TV interviews and, in particular, seeing the dressing room set up and ready for the game ahead. After the tour we were treated to complimentary drinks and a delicious lunch while playing table football and pool.


The children loved meeting Sammy the Saints’ mascot and seeing who could ‘floss’ the fastest! The Saints’ nutritionist came to visit our table and was inundated with questions from the children and the adults alike, it was really useful for the children to hear how important diet is to their success on the pitch.We all thoroughly enjoyed the game although we would have like Southampton to get the 3 points they deserved…there were a lot of chances! Despite the cold, the children waited after the game and got to speak to many of the players and got their autographs which was the perfect end to a fantastic day out.


Hale Primary School, the team and their parents would like to thank again both the English Schools FA and Southampton Football Club for arranging such a memorable day for our incredible football team who defied all the odds to become National Small Schools Champions 2018!”

Danone Nations’ Cup Small Schools National Cup Winners|Hale Primary

We would like to congratulate Hale Primary again on their tremendous win and also extend our thanks to Southampton Football Club for helping us to reward our winners with such a fantastic opportunity and lovely hospitality. 

The Danone Nations Cup is the largest football competition worldwide for children aged 10 to 12 years old, involving over 2.5 million children from 32 countries.

In England, Danone has partnered with the English Schools’ FA to run the Danone Nations Cup for children under the age of 11. Every year, around 5,000 primary schools compete in the four U11 national tournaments, which culminate in the ESFA Danone Nations Cup National Finals…and we look forward to welcoming teams along to competitions for the 2018-19 season. Click here to find out more about the Danone Nations Cup.

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