Leyton Orient and Notts County face each on Sunday in a bid to lift The Football League Kids Cup trophy for League 1, with one of the school sides having had a visit from a very famous ex-pupil.
More than 12,000 children set out on the 'Road to Wembley' earlier this season as part of The Football League Kids Cup. Today sees the culmination of the competition as 16 of those young players get to experience walking out at Wembley to take part in the national final.
Aiming to make the famous walk up the Wembley steps to lift the trophy this afternoon will be teams from Leyton Orient, represented by Chase Lane Primary School, and Notts County, represented by Nottingham High Junior School.
One of the teams has also been lucky enough to receive some tips from a famous ex-pupil after David Beckham returned to Chase Lane Primary School earlier this month for the first time in 30 years and spent some time talking to and playing with the teams.
The Football League Kids Cup is a national 6-a-side competition for children aged Under 11. The road to Wembley for the children started with them competing alongside over 1,600 other school sides in a bid to become one of the 72 teams that earned the right to represent their local Football League club in the competition and progress to the Regional Finals.
In the Southern Final, hosted by Swindon Town, the Chase Lane team didn't get off to a good start in their group after losing to Milton Keynes Dons, but wins against Gillingham, Walsall and Swindon Town, followed by a draw against Coventry saw them progress to the semi-finals. A close fought win over Peterborough United earned them the right to face Stevenage in the final, where a extra time winner booked them their place at Wembley.
Chase Lane Head Teacher Carolyn Houstoun said "There are no words to describe how excited we are that our football team are going to Wembley. It is a truly fantastic achievement. To add to our celebrations, David Beckham visited our school last Friday, played football with the Team and wished them luck for Wembley.
"Good luck to the Chase Lane Boys!"
Notts County faced some tough opposition in the Northern Final at Crewe, again losing an early game but bounced back to qualify as group winners after facing Crewe Alexandra, Carlisle United, Bradford City, Port Vale and Oldham Athletic. Their resolve was again tested in the semi-final, going a goal down to Shrewsbury Town before winning on penalties. The final was much more comfortable for the Notts team, with a 3-0 win over Preston North End sealing their place at Wembley.
Nottingham High Junior School Teacher Anthony Simpson, who himself was a professional footballer, said, "Many professional players will never get the extraordinary opportunity to play at Wembley. I am in no doubt that the players will forever remember the day and they are so lucky to have been given the chance to play at such a world famous stadium."
Team captain Sammy king added "I can't wait for the moment I step onto the pitch. Famous players have played here, such as Neymar, Ronaldo and Messi and now it is our turn!"
As part of their prize for reaching the Kids Cup Final, both teams have received new kits from Football League partners Mitre, and will be treated to a special behind the scenes tour of Wembley before taking to the hallowed turf for the Final.
For more information about The Football League's Kids Cup visit www.football-league.co.uk.
Leyton Orient - Chase Lane Primary School
Harvey Livings-Corbin (captain)
Dotun Ogunbayo (GK)
Tracey Cooper (teacher)
Tyrone Hercules (teacher)
Howard Gould (club coach)
Aslam Alavi (club coach)
Notts County - Nottingham High Junior School
Thomas Picker (GK)
Samuel King (captain)
Anthony Simpson (teacher)
Rachel Slater (teacher)
Shamas Mohammed (club coach)
Mark Parrot (club coach)
Football League Kids Cup Past Winners (League 1):
2012/13 - Brentford
2011/12 - Brentford
2010/11 - Huddersfield Town
2009/10 - Wycombe Wanderers
2008/09 - Tranmere Rovers / Swindon Town*
2007/08 - Brighton & Hove Albion
2006/07 - Brentford / Chesterfield*