England v Republic of Ireland Centenary Shield match to be held at Eastleigh FC
The ESFA is delighted to announce that their home Centenary Shield fixture v the Republic of Ireland Schoolboys will be hosted at Eastleigh FC on Friday 8th April. The England U18 Schoolboys’ squad will be traveling south to the Silverlake Stadium, for their second home Centenary Shield fixture of the season.
The highly anticipated fixture against the Republic of Ireland, current holders of the prestigious SAFIB Centenary Shield, will kick off at 7pm and will be live-streamed for free on the ESFA’s YouTube channel, ESFA TV.
The fixture will provide the ESFA with the opportunity to celebrate their partnership with principal partner, Utilita Energy, with the Eastleigh FC fixture bringing together Utilita’s sponsorship of the ESFA’s international programme and also their sponsorship of Eastleigh FC itself. The Silverlake Stadium will be a fantastic venue to host the monumental international fixture and there will be plenty of exciting opportunities to get involved in the action from both within the local community and on a national scale – further updates on additional activity celebrating this event will be provided in the coming weeks and months.
The SAFIB Centenary shield, which was first contested in 1973, is a competitive international competition between under 18 Schoolboys’ squads from across the home nations. England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland all play each other in a round robin format and the team with the most points at the end of the tournament will lift the historic trophy. England last lifted the trophy back in 2017 and after an enforced break from international activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s squad will be going all out to bring the trophy back to England once again.
Ticket information will be released closer to the time and details will be shared via the ESFA and Eastleigh FC’s websites and social media channels – follow @schoolsfootball across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for the latest updates and announcements.
ESFA Chairman, Mark Hignett said, “We are delighted to finally be in a position to celebrate the partnership in place between the ESFA and Utilita and it’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to showcase this at Utilita’s local club, Eastleigh FC.
Whilst we are awaiting final details of the events leading up to the match to be confirmed, we are proud to be able to announce this Centenary Shield fixture for 2022 and very much look forward to working with the club in order to create a fantastic experience for players, their families, spectators, guests and viewers alike.”
Kenny Amor, Eastleigh FC Chairman said, “We are really pleased to be hosting an England Schools international for the second time in our history, after our first in 2015.
It shows how much we’re growing as a club to be selected for another international fixture, and we are looking forward to welcoming both England and the Republic of Ireland in April 2022. As a club that prides itself on the development of youth players, it is fantastic from our point of view to have some of the best U18 Schoolboys talent playing at the Silverlake Stadium.”
The ESFA is hoping to see a bumper crowd for home international matches in 2022, with a view to creating a fantastic and memorable atmosphere and experience for the young three lions.
A full rundown of the ESFA International Programme for the 2021/22 season can be found here highlighting the trial process, friendly fixtures, warm weather training camps and other Centenary Shield fixtures.
The National Governing Body for Schools’ Football in England.