The ESFA U18 Schoolboys’ Pro:Direct trials kick off this weekend with schoolboys from around the northern counties competing for a place in the next round of the process! The players, who have been nominated by their County Schools’ FA to attend the Pro:Direct trials, will be tested through a set of drills and a competitive game against their fellow nominees. The trial is being hosted at Cochrane Park in Newcastle from 2pm-6pm this Sunday 24th October.
ESFA regional selectors will select a squad of boys from this trial to represent the North in the next stage of the trials process where the North will face the Midlands at Lilleshall National Sports Centre on Sunday 28th November. The successful nominees will be announced here on schoolsfootball.org at 5pm on Monday 25th November and via our social media channels.
The remaining regional Pro:Direct trials will be hosted on Sunday 7th November in the South West and South East with more nominees playing for the opportunity to represent their country and pull on the prestigious three lions shirt!
The ESFA is delighted to announce that our home Centenary Shield fixture will be hosted at Spennymoor Town F.C. in April 2022.
After the Covid-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of England Schoolboys Under 18s vs Republic of Ireland in 2020, Spennymoor Town FC has once again been chosen as the host for a prestigious Schoolboys fixture, this time between England and Scotland.
The Centenary Shield fixture will take place on 1 April 2022 at The Brewery Field. The game was secured on a recent England Schools’ FA visit to Spennymoor, where England Under 18s Manager Richie Alderson met the club’s academy staff and held training sessions with the young Spennymoor Town Youth FC players. After an inspection of the ground and run-down of the future plans for Spennymoor Town, England’s date in Spennymoor was set.
Tony Wilson, Managing Director of Spennymoor Town FC, said: “There has been a monumental amount of work gone in from our team off the pitch over the last few years to improve our infrastructure, facilities and matchday offering.
“I’m thrilled to say that this is now bearing fruit with this wonderful international occasion for a non-league football club.
“England Schoolboys’ football conjures images of some of our country’s most famous players, including the likes of Michael Owen. With the importance we put on our academy of more than 300 young people of all ages, abilities and genders, hosting this prominent fixture is a massive deal.
“This isn’t just for the football club or Spennymoor. We’re working hard to put County Durham on the map for football and having these big organisations of international importance in Durham brings a boost to the whole region. We’re working on our relationships with all of the country’s footballing bodies and hope to be involved in more national football going forwards.
“Make no mistake, we’ve done plenty of squad building and physical building over the last few years at our club. We’re now building the club’s reputation in other ways and these are the first signs that all our work is starting to have an impact.”
Phil Harding, Chairman of English Schools’ FA, said: “We’re really looking forward to our visit to Spennymoor, a town with a wonderful footballing tradition, and with a football club that has made great strides in recent seasons. We hope the people of the area will support this prestigious international match – it would be marvellous to break the attendance record for the ground.”
Tickets will go on sale later this year. Further details will be communicated through Spennymoor Town F.C. and on our social media channels closer to the date. Supporters who purchased tickets for the postponed England Schoolboys fixture against Republic of Ireland in 2020 can exchange their ticket for the new fixture against Scotland free of charge.
More details on the ESFA International programme can be viewed here. Stay up to date with ESFA social media channels (@schoolsfootball) and continue to check out http://www.schoolsfootball.org for further information throughout the season.