Football Development, Match Reports, National Competitions

Throwback Thursday- Rep football is back and better than ever!

For this Throwback Thursday we travel back just a fortnight with ESFA photographer Garry Griffiths (353 Photography) who travelled around the North West covering three exciting first round fixtures.

Another relatively short throwback this week as we venture back just a fortnight to our opening travels of the 2020/21 season. With the pandemic forcing the cancellation of inter school matches, we are able to focus 100% attention on our representative football competitions which we did in a 3 day trip north, at the end of April.

Kicking the trip off in huddersfield, we saw Merseyside make the trip across the country on a sunny evening to face West Yorkshire. Having taken the lead midway through the half Merseyside were pegged back going into the break following a deflected shot that looped into the net. The visitors were soon back in front through some excellent long range strikes and a penalty from hat-trick man Kyffin. This flurry of second half goals extingusihed any hopes West Yorkshire had of making a comeback with Merseyside running out 7-1 winners and earning a trip to Staffordshire in the next round.

The following evening we covered that famous North West derby as Manchester hosted Liverpool in the Boys U13 Inter Association Trophy.

This cup tie was as dramatic as anything served up by the senior sides in the area as Liverpool found themselves 2-0 ahead at the break despite Manchester looking dangerous almost every time they ventured forward. After the break, a spot kick gave the home side hope before an equaliser midway through the half had the scores level going into the closing stages.

With extra time on the horizon it was the visitors who nicked it direct from a corner to edge through 3-2 although credit to Manchester who were excellent on the night despite going out of the competition.

Saturday morning then saw another derby as Preston hosted Bolton in the Under 15 Inter Association Trophy and we once again saw 7 goals for the visiting team.

Despite the final 7-2 scoreline in Bolton’s favour, the game was much closer than the scoreline suggests with the clinical nature of the visitors finishing the difference overall.

Leading 2-0 at the break the visitors increased the lead at the start of the second half but Preston hit back to give themselves hope, albeit quashed by a spectacular long range effort from 5 goal man Smith

Congratulations to all the teams involved and it certainly is good to have football back!

Classroom Challenge, Sponsors and Partners

The ESFA Panini Classroom Challenge Returns!

Win the biggest yet cash prize for your school with the ESFA & Panini’s Classroom Challenge for 2021

The Classroom Challenge continues in 2021 with a brand-new opportunity for your school to win a huge £3,000 cash with a ‘Design a Football’ competition – but hurry, there’s only 2,000 packs up for grabs!

January’s Classroom Challenge was cancelled due to the lockdown, but Panini and the ESFA were able to share 450 resources out to primary schools in England to help support the key worker and vulnerable children still attending schools. These resources were gratefully received by participating schools…but now it’s time to relaunch the competition for up to 2,000 schools to enjoy in April and May.

The Classroom Challenge returns with some exciting opportunities for your school

For the chance to take part in the competition, putting your school in the running to win a huge £3,000 cash prize, a Panini assembly and trophy presentation, plus a £50 Amazon voucher and a football shirt for the winning pupil. All you need to do is register your school via this link.

Aside from the fantastic Classroom Challenge competition, your school will also receive sticker albums, sticker packets and a competition guide, which you can use within your school. We have had some amazing feedback from teachers from across England on the benefits of receiving these goodies and entering our competitions – here are some of our favourites:

“Although we didn’t win, our children have absolutely loved taking part. The packs have gone down a storm and I’m constantly getting children coming up to me to show me which players they’ve got.”

“The packs have gone down very well in school. We had a few spares left over from the ones originally sent, which have made a fantastic motivational tool and prizes for outstanding work.”

“Thank you for organising this competition. Our sports-mad Y6 children really enjoyed the opportunity to design a trophy and challenge each other with the packs.”

“A really popular competition, thank you so much for organising it!”

To register, simply click here or follow the link at the bottom of the page and enter your details – but hurry, we only have 2,000 packs to send out and you only have until 7 April to register your school! The competition will run throughout April and May and we’re already excited to see the entries we’ll receive. The standards have been incredibly high in previous competitions and we love to see how creative school children in England can be!

The latest Classroom Challenge was won by Jack from Year 6 at Beckwithshaw Primary School in Harrogate after he created a fantastic trophy design, being chosen from over 3,500 entries! Beckwithshaw Primary School have since been presented with a cheque for £2,000 plus some fantastic prizes for Jack during an assembly hosted virtually by Panini in the coming weeks.

Jack’s winning design from September 2020

The ESFA is delighted to be able to share these Panini resources with primary schools in England and are already looking forward to seeing the quality of the latest Classroom Challenge designs!

For further details or information, or to register your school to receive updates, please contact

Register via this link: