Representing your country
The ESFA is proud to provide opportunities for talented players who are in full time education to represent their country whilst still concentrating on their schooling. The Under 18 Boys and Under 15 Girls, selected by trials, gain the opportunity to pull on an England Schools’ jersey, travel to Europe to train and play against their counterpart overseas, embark on a series of friendly fixtures then end their season by competing for the Schools’ International Football Association Board (SAFIB) trophies. The Centenary Shield is contested by schoolboys from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland: England’s schoolgirls compete against the same countries in the Bob Docherty Trophy. You can find out more about SAFIB here.
The nomination process
The English Schools’ FAs trialists come from the best players in County Schools’ representative teams, from where all nominations must be made. Nominations can only be accepted from elsewhere if the relevant County Schools’ FA does not run a team, but the CSFA must still nominate the player for trial.
Should you wish to get involved at County level, please contact your local County Schools’ FA.
The ESFA is grateful to its international programme sponsors, without whom the programme would be much depleted:
- inspiresport, warm weather training supplier and official schools’ tour partner of the ESFA
- Pendle Sportswear, kit supplier and official partner of the ESFA
- Pass4Soccer, advisors to pupils who seek scholarships to study at an America University, and the ESFA’s official scholarship broker
- UCFB, the football business campus of New Bucks University and the ESFA’s official Foundation Higher Education Partner
The start of something big…
For many of our international players, representing the ESFA is the pinnacle of their footballing career. Some choose for it to be this way, pursuing University, apprenticeships or employment in other fields. Their success in playing for their country will no doubt have given them something to talk to potential employers and universities about, describing the sense of achievement, pride, teamwork and loyalty it instilled in them, as well as showing a high level of commitment. For others however, it has helped showcase their talents to the professional clubs, with some going on to make a career in the pro game. Here’s a couple, but there are many others – you can have a look at our past squad lists here.