Some of the best young footballing talent in England will showcase their skills across 19th-21st May as they take part in the English Schools’ Football Association (ESFA) PlayStation® Schools’ Cup Festival.
Staged at Reading FC’s Madejski Stadium, 15 finals from U12-U15 secondary school age groups, including both boys’ and girls’ teams, will take place across the three days with a number of prestigious trophies up for grabs.
Over 5,000 supporters are expected to gather at the Festival, which as well as giving budding young stars of the future the chance to get their hands on silverware, allows them to experience playing in a professional environment including use of either the home or away changing rooms.
Similar ESFA tournaments have previously provided the platform for the careers of Steven Gerrard, David Beckham and Ryan Giggs, who were all given a chance to play in a competitive environment and get involved in grassroots football from a young age.
Friends, family and pupils of participating schools have all been invited to join in the occasion with a number of daily activities including a PlayStation®4 gaming experience, a half-time crossbar challenge for spectators and live commentary of each game.
The partnership between PlayStation and the English Schools’ FA (ESFA) has been set up to boost grassroots football and help increase the engagement in competitive sport for secondary school age categories.
Numerous PlayStation Schools’ Cup competitions have been staged in the 2013/14 season and have involved nearly 2,000 schools and 100,000 participants. Each of the schools involved has received a PlayStation Kit Bag, featuring a match day football, training bibs and supporters’ flags to support their sports department.
PlayStation UK Marketing Director Murray Pannell commented: “The aim of the PlayStation Schools’ Cup is to create an occasion that will have lasting memories for all the players involved and an experience that all their friends, family and pupils can enjoy too. Our relationship with the ESFA has provided a huge boost to grassroots sport and helped us reach out to so many schools across the country in this year’s competition. We wish everyone taking part in the finals the best of luck and hope everyone enjoys this festival of football.”