ESFA Internationals, featured

England U18 schoolboys storm to victory in their final fixture as a squad!

A warm afternoon in Newcastle saw England Schoolboys play their final fixture of a disrupted campaign as they put on a great show of attacking football to defeat Harrogate Town Youth Academy at Longbenton. 

The visitors were playing their first fixture as an academy side with the League Two club having only recently set up their development programme and the early exchanges were fairly even as both sides looked to find a foothold in a game, scheduled for three periods of 30 minutes. 

The hosts were playing together for the first time in over a year and were missing a number of players from the original squad selected for the Centenary Shield campaign, but those who were available soon hit their stride. 

Taylor Richardson saw a shot saved by the visiting keeper but the resulting corner saw Charlie Dickerson head home for a 1-0 lead, a pinpoint delivery from Reece Wylie seeing the defender with a free header 6 yards out. 

England had a great chance to double their lead from the spot after Wylie was bundled over in the six yard box to end a surging run down the right. However, skipper Carter Lycett’s spot kick didn’t trouble the keeper or the goal frame as it sailed over the bar. 

The lead was doubled by Kenny Bernal shortly after though, a lovely through ball from Richardson allowed the midfielder to skip round Harvey Giles and fire into an empty net. 

Harrogate were by no means out of the game and pulled a goal back with their first ever academy goal from Finn O’Boyle, slotting under Cameron Pike after a swift counter attack that began with an England corner just 20 seconds earlier. 

Boyle saw a fierce shot flash wide of Pike’s far post before Richardson went close to scoring a third for the hosts, shooting just wide when through on goal after a pinpoint pass from the energetic Wylie. 

Moments later though he did find the net, a long range looping volley over the keeper making it 3-1 shortly before Pike was forced into a finger tip save to deny Joe Dixon from long range and prevent Harrogate pulling a goal back. 

Ollie Waddison fired home from the edge of the box to make it 4-1 with a couple of minutes left in the second period, battling to win the ball back after seeing his shot saved by the keeper before tip toeing along the edge of the box and firing into the far corner. 

In true symmetry England bagged another two goals in the final period of the game with Richardson grabbing his second volleyed goal after a lovely through ball from Ethan Warne to make it 5-1 before Ben Reay, Ethan Warne and David Pereira combined to put Waddison through to complete the 6-1 scoreline in their final outing together. 

Credit to both teams for putting on a display full of energy in very warm conditions, England played some excellent football at times and were always dangerous going forward but the visitors from Harrogate certainly had their moments to keep the game close and will rightly take plenty of positives from their first fixture together as a squad. 

The cap presentations signalled the end of a long international campaign for the lads, an unusual one in the current circumstances but parents and schools can certainly take pride in the achievements of this group of young men – we look forward to seeing their progress as they move into the next stages of their careers and wish them all good luck in whichever path they take.

A big thank you to our photographer Garry Griffiths from 353 photography for capturing the game and writing this report. A gallery from the game will be available shortly.

ESFA Internationals, featured

England Schoolgirls & Schoolboys take to the pitch this weekend

The England U15 Schoolgirls and England U18 Schoolboys are back in action this weekend as both squads travel up to Newcastle for their fixtures. The Girls face their Scottish counterparts on Saturday 5th June and the Boys play Harrogate Town U19’s in a friendly fixture on Sunday 6th June.

The England U15 Schoolgirls will attempt to continue their successful return to football this weekend after beating a strong Wales U15 side last month. They travel to Cochrane Park in Newcastle for a friendly game against their Scottish counterparts this Saturday 5th June. The match will kick off at 3pm and will be live-streamed on our YouTube channel ESFA TV with full match commentary. The girls will also be collecting their international caps after the game, a special moment for all involved.

The England U18 Schoolboys return to playing football for the first time since the pandemic put an end to their 2019/2020 season. They also travel north to Newcastle and play their fixture at Longbenton Sports Ground at Newcastle University. They face Harrogate Town FC U19’s in a friendly which kick’s off at 3pm on Sunday 6th June. The match will be live-streamed on our Youtube channel ESFA TV and the boys will also be collecting their international caps after the game am immensely proud moment for the boys and their families.

Both International squads saw an anti-climatic end to the 2019/2020 season with the pandemic cancelling both the Bob Doherty Cup for the girls and the Centenary shield for the boys. The squads had recently got back from their international tour of Eindhoven thanks to the guys at InspireSport and were ready to go for their end of season competitive fixtures. These friendly fixtures aim to bring these talented squads back together and give them the opportunity to end their international campaigns in style. We are extremely excited to see both squads pull on their England shirts sponsored by Utilita and remind us of what they can do.

Make sure you stay tuned on our social media channels (@schoolsfootball) for more information on the international squads as well as in match updates from this weekends fixtures.