ESFA National Finals, National Schools' Football Week

Match Report: A Celebration of Girls’ Football – 2018/19 ESFA U18 Schools’ Cup for Girls National Final

Thomas Telford School 2 – 0 Barking Abbey School

On Wednesday 27 March the ESFA headed to AFC Fylde’s Mill Farm to feature the two Girls’ U18 National Finals, which showcased some of the best female footballing talent from around the country.


After five previous rounds and over 60 exhilarating cup matches, the finalists were confirmed as Telford & Wrekin’s Thomas Telford School and Barking & Dagenham’s Barking Abbey School. With just the National Final remaining, the two teams battled it out to become National Champions at AFC Fylde’s Mill Farm stadium.

Thomas Telford School (Gold/Burgundy) Barking Abbey School (Red)
1 Francesca Vitale 13 Grace Staunton ©
38 Erin Taylor 15 Maisy Wyer
8 Anna Morphet © 3 Tilly Deacon
14 Eleanor Vernon 4 Sanaa Williams
4 Tilly Chase 5 Maddison Austin
6 Nya Edwards 6 Jameela Barrett
10 Jessica Jennings 7 Maizi Garwood
17 Chloe Shirley 14 Hannah Smith
20 Sasha Woodhouse 9 Jasmine Liddell
15 Danniella Garrett 10 Ellie Nicholls
19 Chantelle Teare 16 Poppy Binding
2 Sophie Bamford 8 Aaliyah Boyea
22 Bethan Lewis 2 Kirsty Woodacre
7 Yasmin Evans 12 Bethany Chambers
9 Sadie Craig 10 Beatriz Kretteis
13 Elizabeth Charnell 17 Elizabeth Reid


Kick off – Thomas Telford School V Barking Abbey School

Right from the get go, it was clear to see we were going to be treated to highly competitive game with both teams showing huge amounts quality all over the pitch. The first ten minutes was a cagey affair with both teams keeping things tight at the back as  Telford’s Chase (4) controlled the midfield and Willams (4) marshaled the Barking Abby defensive line extremely well.

20 minutes on the clock and Barking Abbey started to get a foothold into the game with  Barking Abbey’s Barrett (6) looking the most likely to create a chance however, it wasn’t her time to break the deadlock. The first goal of the game came from Jennings (10) of Thomas Telford after Teare made her way to the byline and cut the ball across the box, finding  Jennings at the back post who smashed it home for one. Jennings’ goal gave Thomas Telford School a one-nil lead heading into half time.

Half time – Thomas Telford School 1 – 0 Barking Abbey School

After the half time interval, Thomas Telford came out fast, putting the pressure on Barking Abbey; firing shots and forcing some early corners but failing to capitalise on any chances.

Around the 70th minute Barking Abbey were threatening to get the equaliser but in a similar fashion to the first half, Thomas Telford showed their cutting edge to get the second goal of the game. Like deja vu, the goal came from another dribble to the byline and a cut back into the box; only this time Bramford (2) was the provider and Shirely (17) was at the back post to score in the 85th minute.

Full time – Thomas Telford School 2 – 0 Barking Abbey School


The final score at Mill Farm finished Thomas Telford School 2 – 0 Barking Abbey. Congratulations to Thomas Telford  on earning the title of 2018/19 ESFA U18 Schools’ Cup for Girls National Champions! 

Thomas Telford School v Barking Abbey School in a English Schools Football Association Under 18 Girls Schools Cup Final match at Mill Farm on Wednesday 27th March 2019 (c) Garry Griffiths | ThreeFiveThree Photography

PLAYER OF THE MATCH – Jessica Jennings  

POST MATCH MANGER INTERVIEW – Anna Price, Thomas Telford School




National Schools' Football Week, The World of Schools' Football

Schools’ Football; the best time of your life

Why Stephen Warnock is a fantastic Ambassador for Schools’ Football

The English Schools’ FA (ESFA) kicked off the second National Schools’ Football Week, in association with the PlayStation Schools’ Cup on Monday; by facilitating former Liverpool and England star, turned pundit, Stephen Warnock’s return to his high school in Ormskirk. To mark the end of this incredible week, we’re sharing with you Stephen’s glowing memories of his time playing Schools’ Football.

Warnock, who represented his school, his district and his county, progressing to earn an England cap in the ESFA U15 Schoolboys’ squad alongside Leon Osman and Joe Cole during his teenage years, reflected back on some of the “best times” of his footballing life.

Describing St Bedes School in Ormskirk as “ultra supportive”, during his interview Stephen frequently reminisced that his school friends and teachers had helped drive him to work hard and become the best footballer he could be – helping to sculpt him for his professional career at clubs such as Liverpool, Blackburn, Aston Villa and within the England squad.

Stephen recounted to the ESFA just how important he felt schools’ football was to him as a developing player. The TV pundit insisted that if he could turn back the clock to playing football at any point, it would be to his school days – describing how it was him and his “best friends playing football together week in, week out” and that “there was no better thing”. Even as a teenager, Stephen was so dedicated to schools’ football that whilst playing for the Liverpool FC academy, he was told to stop playing for his school in order to concentrate on his academy training; Stephen refused to do so and managed to negotiate with the academy to allow him to continue training for Liverpool whilst still playing with his friends at school. Stephen went on to air his frustrations at children playing for academies missing out on the opportunity to continue to play for their school teams saying “they’re the best days of your life. They’re what make you a footballer, they’re what make you enjoy football. If you don’t have those days, then for me, there’s no point in playing.”

National Schools’ Football Week was introduced in 2018 in association with the ESFA PlayStation Schools’ Cup, as a celebration of the fantastic work carried out within schools and colleges across England. Hundreds of schools supported the first campaign and over 300 schools have again registered their interest in this year’s event. Stephen Warnock, who played at every conceivable level of schools’ football, is the perfect ambassador for not only his former school in Ormskirk, but also for the work carried out by the English Schools’ FA and their volunteer workforce; season after season. With over 73,000 teams taking part in schools’ football activity in the 2017-18 season, the ESFA and its wealth of activity and competitions only continues to grow.

Check out our full interview with Stephen over on our YouTube channel, ESFA TV.