The English Schools’ Football Association (ESFA) PlayStation®Schools’ Cup Festival will take place from 21st to 23rd May at Reading Football Club’s Madejski Stadium. The 2017/18 season finale will feature many of England’s finest young footballers as they battle for the honours in 15 boys’ and girls’ national tournament finals.
The three-day festival of school football will be the fifth since PlayStation partnered with the ESFA, creating the biggest and most prestigious collection of secondary school football tournaments in England under the PlayStation Schools’ Cup banner.
Many young footballers from the 30 teams taking part will dream of emulating twin brothers Ryan and Steven Sessegnon. The pair were part of Coombe Boys’ School’s victorious PlayStation Schools’ Cup teams at the Madesjski in 2014 and 2015, and have since gone on to football stardom with Fulham FC and England. In 2017, Ryan won the European Championship with the England U19s while Steven won the World Cup with the U17s.
The finals festival sees all players given the full match-day experience. They will warm up in Reading FC’s £1million indoor training facility before changing in the main stadium dressing room and making their way onto the Madejski Stadium pitch in front of a lively and enthusiastic crowd with thousands more watching a live-stream of all the games online.
With free entry for all attendees, the Festival has become a popular day out for supporters and school friends. Over 6,000 spectators attended last year’s finals. A feast of football, celebrity appearances and a series of spectator competitions and activities contribute to the electric atmosphere. The volume will be cranked up even louder this year with a decibel meter measuring the noisiest supporters each day.
Last year’s Festival was backed by Peter Crouch, Tom Davies, Leighton Baines and England women’s captain Steph Houghton. This year’s finals are set to attract a host of star names keen to support this highly acclaimed grassroots initiative – the biggest in England.
PlayStation UK Marketing Director Mark Bowles commented: “We’re delighted to return to Reading Football Club for the 2018 PlayStation Schools’ Cup Festival. For the competing players and their travelling supporters, the trip to the Madejski Stadium will be their equivalent to a Wembley final. It is great to give so many pupils the chance to represent their school in a national tournament and, who knows, maybe we can help unearth the next Sessegnon brothers at this year’s Finals!”
ESFA Chairman, Owen Aiston, added: “The ESFA PlayStation Schools’ Cup Festival is a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of the very best Schools’ Football talent in England. Teams who have made it to the National Finals have already shown themselves to be amongst the best squads in the country, which is an outstanding achievement for all involved. We are thrilled to be welcoming schools and their supporters back to Reading FC’s Madejski Stadium for, what is sure to be, another fantastic event.”
You can follow all the Festival action on this website or across the social media channels:
- Psschoolscup or schoolsfootball for Snapchat and Instagram
- twitter.com/PSSchoolsCup or www.twitter.com/schoolsfootball