Fleetwood Town could be in line for a Wembley double on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon as they will also be taking on AFC Wimbledon in The Football League Kids Cup Final for League 2
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 AFC Wimbledon, represented by Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School, and Fleetwood Town, represented by Hambleton Primary Academy.
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.
If past results are anything to go by then the AFC Wimbledon side will be tough to beat today. Having not lost a game in their preliminary round they carried that form into the Southern Final, hosted by Wycombe Wanderers. The team again went through the whole tournament undefeated, booking their trip to Wembley with an impressive 5-0 win in the final.
Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School teacher and P.E. Co-ordinator Robert Sheehan said "As a school, we are extremely proud of the boys for reaching the final. The team played some excellent football during the qualifying rounds, scoring great goals and showing a real to desire to win. It is fantastic that they have the opportunity to showcase their skills at Wembley!
"As their teacher, I know how excited the boys are about walking onto the pitch at Wembley and representing AFC Wimbledon. With the majority of the team being in their last year at Corpus Christi, it is a wonderful experience for them all to share before they move on to their Secondary Schools. I think it is great that The Football League organises events such as the 'Kids Cup', providing opportunities for children to compete at a national level.
Fleetwood Town will be hoping the trophy remains in the North West after Morecambe won it last season. In the Northern Final at Chesterfield, the team won group games against Scunthorpe United, Burton Albion, Northampton Town and Accrington Stanley without conceding a goal to see them qualify for the knockout stages. Victory over Bury in the semi-final earned them the right to face Mansfield Town in the final. Despite conceding an early goal, they showed spirit to score twice and book their trip to Wembley.
Hambleton Primary Academy Head Teacher Pamela Birch said, "Reaching the National final is a dream come true for our school and our football team and we are still in a state of disbelief. To play at Wembley is a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity for the boys and our whole school community is bursting with pride! We have such close links with Fleetwood Town and are incredibly honoured to represent them - we just hope we don't let them down!!!
"We can't wait!!!!"
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.
AFC Wimbledon - Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School
Jack Hackett (GK)
Robert Sheehan (teacher)
Matthew Smith (teacher)
Tony Mesourouni (teacher)
Robert Tuvey (club coach)
Fleetwood Town - Hambleton Primary Academy
Toby Ronson (GK)
Joshua Hampson ©
Annalise Riches (teacher)
Jill Allsworth (teacher)
Matt Hilton (club coach)
Jason Sharp (club coach)
Football League Kids Cup Past Winners (League 2):
2012/13 - Morecambe
2011/12 - Bristol Rovers
2010/11 - Bury
2009/10 - AFC Bournemouth
2008/09 - Lincoln City
2007/08 - Morecambe
2006/07 - Stockport County