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School teams head for wembley

PUBLISHED: 08:21 07 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:35 03 July 2010

Woodlands Middle U11 girls football team are off to Wembley.

Woodlands Middle U11 girls football team are off to Wembley.

We're on our way to Wembley is the chant at two schools celebrating shared football glory this week.

Cliff Park Middle under-11 boys and Woodlands Middle under-11 girls will both be playing at the national stadium after being crowned English Schools FA south-east champions.

We're on our way to Wembley is the chant at two schools celebrating shared football glory this week.

Cliff Park Middle under-11 boys and Woodlands Middle under-11 girls will both be playing at the national stadium after being crowned English Schools FA south-east champions.

The teams did the borough proud winning their respective six-a-side titles at the tournament in Greenwich on Saturday.

Now they are set to share in the glory of playing at Wembley before next month's England v Scotland under-18 match.

To add to the sense of occasion medals will be presented to all the regional winners at half-time in the showpiece international on April 26.

Both teams will take on the south west champions at Watford Football Club the day before the under-11 final.

The semi-finals, at Vicarage Road, will decide which team contests the national title and the third/fourth play off against the respective winners from the north of England.

Their shared success crowned what has been a superb year for both teams, neither of whom has lost a game all season.

Cliff Park defeated Shears Green School from Kent 3-0 in the final, with Tom Hagan grabbing a hat-trick.

The Gorleston team's striker Jay Turner was also the tournament's highest scorer with five goals.

Assistant head and team manager Dick Oliver said: “The boys work hard and practice a lot; they have a combination of natural talent and commitment with good levels of fitness.

“I have been teaching 39 years and they are the best group of players we have had on our hands.

“This is something that I have been secretly hoping for and has been one of my goals - 25,000 schools entered the competition and to be in the top four is amazing.”

Woodlands Middle, from Bradwell, edged to a 1-0 victory against The Avenues School from Surrey in the final, the last of six tough matches on the day.

Head of PE at Woodlands Stuart Aldous, who shares the coaching duties with colleague Vanessa Brambor, was understandably delighted at the team's success.

“I never thought this was possible it is one of the school's proudest sporting achievements and it will be fantastic playing at Wembley,” he said.

“The have both winners from the Great Yarmouth area is amazing and there was great support from family members, we filled a fifty-seat coach down there.

“They have just gelled as a team this season and the success is down to lots of hard work and preparation.

“A lot of the girls play for club teams so they are getting good coaching in and out of school.”

Cliff Park and Woodlands qualified for the regional final after winning the Great Yarmouth area and Norfolk championships.

Key Education has provided a new strip for Cliff Park and the team are still looking for a local business to sponsor a tracksuit for their big day out at Wembley.

Contact: community links co-ordinator, Michael Walsh on 01493 663612.

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