The ESFA is delighted to announce that their home SAFIB Centenary Shield fixture v Northern Ireland Schoolboys will be hosted at Billericay Town FC on Friday 14th April 2023. The England U18 Schoolboys’ squad will be traveling south to the New Lodge Stadium, for their first home Centenary Shield fixture of the season.
The highly anticipated fixture against the Northern Ireland, 2019 SAFIB Centenary Shield winners, will kick off at 7pm and will be live-streamed on the night.
The fixture will be the first opportunity in 2023 for the ESFA to showcase their squad on home-turf in the Centenary Shield competition and will be the first time Billericay Town has hosted an ESFA England Schoolboys’ event at their ground in Essex. The event will create some schools’ football buzz in and around the town, as Essex County Schools’ FA look to host some primary school competitions to tie into the fixture.
The SAFIB Centenary shield, which was first contested in 1973, is a competitive international competition between under 18 schoolboy 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 the 2023 squad will be going all out to try and replicate this victory.
The England team will wear their new home shirts for the first time as they walk out onto the New Lodge stadium pitch this April. This year’s Nike kit has been provided by official ESFA kit suppliers, Pro:Direct and features the Utilita logo across the front of shirt. With the energy company’s brand fast becoming synonymous with front of shirt sponsorship across all levels of football, the England boys will be proud to be associated with such fantastic sponsors of the ESFA’s international programme.
Tickets are priced at just £7 for adults and £3 for concessions and are available via Billericay Town’s website here. Further details and announcements will follow in the coming weeks – to make sure you stay up to date with all the England Schoolboys’ action, follow @schoolsfootball across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
ESFA Chair and Essex local, Stuart Botham said, “I am delighted to be welcoming the SAFIB Centenary Shield action between England and Northern Ireland to my home County of Essex this April. Billericay Town have already pulled out all the stops to secure this event at the New Lodge Stadium and I am looking forward to the buzz this will create in and around the local area.
The ESFA’s international programme benefits from fantastic sponsorship from a number of big-name sponsors and their invaluable support allows us to create memorable opportunities for all of our England Schoolboys during their time representing their country for the ESFA. I hope they get the most from this fixture in Billericay and look forward to welcoming football fans from near and far to join us for this momentous occasion”
Billericay Town FC said: “Billericay Town FC are absolutely delighted to be hosting an England Schoolboys’ international for the first time in our history. We really can’t wait to welcome both the England and Northern Ireland teams to New Lodge. For our club to have been chosen to host the fixture speaks to the progress that the club has made over the last few years.
I think the fixture will really appeal to the local community. We hope for a good crowd that will create an electric atmosphere for the two teams.
The ESFA is hoping to see a bumper crowd for home international matches in 2023, with a view to creating a fantastic and memorable atmosphere and experience for the young three lions.
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The National Governing Body for Schools’ Football in England.