ESFA Internationals, featured

England Schoolboys’ Home International to be hosted at Billericay Town

The ESFA is delighted to announce that their home SAFIB Centenary Shield fixture v Northern Ireland Schoolboys will be hosted at Billericay Town FC on Friday 14th April 2023. The England U18 Schoolboys’ squad will be traveling south to the New Lodge Stadium, for their first home Centenary Shield fixture of the season.

The highly anticipated fixture against the Northern Ireland, 2019 SAFIB Centenary Shield winners, will kick off at 7pm and will be live-streamed on the night.

The fixture will be the first opportunity in 2023 for the ESFA to showcase their squad on home-turf in the Centenary Shield competition and will be the first time Billericay Town has hosted an ESFA England Schoolboys’ event at their ground in Essex. The event will create some schools’ football buzz in and around the town, as Essex County Schools’ FA look to host some primary school competitions to tie into the fixture.

The SAFIB Centenary shield, which was first contested in 1973, is a competitive international competition between under 18 schoolboy squads from across the home nations. England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland all play each other in a round robin format and the team with the most points at the end of the tournament will lift the historic trophy. England last lifted the trophy back in 2017 and the 2023 squad will be going all out to try and replicate this victory.

The England team will wear their new home shirts for the first time as they walk out onto the New Lodge stadium pitch this April. This year’s Nike kit has been provided by official ESFA kit suppliers, Pro:Direct and features the Utilita logo across the front of shirt. With the energy company’s brand fast becoming synonymous with front of shirt sponsorship across all levels of football, the England boys will be proud to be associated with such fantastic sponsors of the ESFA’s international programme.

Tickets are priced at just £7 for adults and £3 for concessions and are available via Billericay Town’s website here. Further details and announcements will follow in the coming weeks – to make sure you stay up to date with all the England Schoolboys’ action, follow @schoolsfootball across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

ESFA Chair and Essex local, Stuart Botham said, “I am delighted to be welcoming the SAFIB Centenary Shield action between England and Northern Ireland to my home County of Essex this April. Billericay Town have already pulled out all the stops to secure this event at the New Lodge Stadium and I am looking forward to the buzz this will create in and around the local area.

The ESFA’s international programme benefits from fantastic sponsorship from a number of big-name sponsors and their invaluable support allows us to create memorable opportunities for all of our England Schoolboys during their time representing their country for the ESFA. I hope they get the most from this fixture in Billericay and look forward to welcoming football fans from near and far to join us for this momentous occasion”

Billericay Town FC said: “Billericay Town FC are absolutely delighted to be hosting an England Schoolboys’ international for the first time in our history. We really can’t wait to welcome both the England and Northern Ireland teams to New Lodge. For our club to have been chosen to host the fixture speaks to the progress that the club has made over the last few years.

I think the fixture will really appeal to the local community. We hope for a good crowd that will create an electric atmosphere for the two teams. 

The ESFA is hoping to see a bumper crowd for home international matches in 2023, with a view to creating a fantastic and memorable atmosphere and experience for the young three lions.

For any media enquiries, please contact Jacob Blades on jacob.blades@schoolsfa.com for more information

ESFA Internationals, featured

England U18 Schoolboys’ – Official Squad Announcement 2022/23

The ESFA is delighted to announce the 18 players chosen to represent the England U18 Schoolboys for the 2022-2023 season, following the final Pro:Direct Trial this weekend.

The ESFA concluded their search for the best schools’ footballers that England has to offer yesterday (Sunday 22nd January) with the final England U18 Schoolboys’ Pro:Direct trial taking place at Thomas Telford School after the original venue Lilleshall National Sports Centre was unavailable due to the weather. The successful boys have progressed through a rigorous selection process from October until January to be finally selected to represent their country.

The players were first nominated by their county sides to attend regional trials that led to the construction of four regional squads, the North, Midlands, South East and South West. These squads then went head to head in step two of the trials process and formed the North and South squads that travelled to Thomas Telford School yesterday, for the final stage of the process.

Making the final stage of the trials is a huge personal achievement for all the boys who attended and something they can be very proud of.

Stuart Botham, ESFA Chair said: “We are delighted to be able to name this year’s England U18 Schoolboys’ Squad today. It’s a fantastic achievement for these players to have made it through what is a tough trials process, to be able to go on and represent their school, District, County and their Country for this year’s International Season. On behalf of the English Schools’ FA, I would like to congratulate each and every selected player on their achievement and also pass on my thanks to their parents and guardians for the commitment and support they have also shown. Finally, I would like to congratulate all the players that were selected to take part in this year’s trials process and wish them the very best for the rest of this season.”

Congratulations to the following players –

Squad NumberPlayer NameCounty
1Jasper SheikHampshire CSFA
2Harvey SmithDurham CSFA
3Tyrease HughesWest Midlands CSFA
4Jacob TownsGloucestershire CSFA
5George WilkinsonDurham CSFA
6Laiith FairnieGloucestershire CSFA
7Sam JohnsonDurham CSFA
8Dylan ArcherDurham CSFA
9Benjamin WodskouLeicestershire & Rutland CSFA
10Oscar FletcherCleveland CSFA
11Ollie FraserSuffolk CSFA
12Jack BostockStaffordshire CSFA
13James TaylorBedfordshire CSFA
14Luke SalterGloucestershire CSFA
15Dominic CupidHampshire CSFA
16Jay SanghaShropshire CSFA
17Arran CocksLeicestershire & Rutland CSFA
18Rio JoisceNorthumberland CSFA

This final squad will first get together in February for their preparatory training camp, thanks to inspiresport, where they will be presented with their brand new England shirts. The boys’ competitive fixtures will come in the form of the SAFIB Centenary Shield, which is played throughout March and April 2023. The home nations and the Republic of Ireland will compete for the prestigious Centenary Shield trophy, with this season’s England team hoping to bring the trophy home for the first time since it was shared with Northern Ireland, in 2017.

The ESFA would like to once more congratulate all the players that were put forward for England Schoolboys’ trials this season and wish those players that haven’t been selected the very best of luck with the rest of their season and footballing careers.

For any media enquiries, please contact Jacob Blades on jacob.blades@schoolsfa.com for more information

Photo credit: 353 Photography