Back for a fifth successive season, the ESFA PlayStation Schools’ Cup is the biggest grassroots football competition in England. The partnership with the English Schools’ FA (ESFA) will present over 200,000 school children a chance to compete in high-profile national tournaments to celebrate the spirt of competition, fair play and team work.
A grand total of 24 tournaments for both boys and girls across the secondary school age categories, give the future stars of football a high-profile platform for their skills to shine. Helping create fun and competitive formats, that are accessible to schools of all sizes and abilities, additional competitions include the ‘Small Schools’ and ‘B Team’ trophies.
Fulham FC star, Ryan Sessegnon, is a perfect example of a player that has made the transition from playground to professional footballer. In 2014 and 2015 Ryan was part of the Coombe School team that lifted the PlayStation Schools’ Cup Trophy. Last season, at the age of 16, Ryan went on to become the youngest player to make their senior debut for Championship side Fulham FC, while this summer he was one of the standout players for the England U19 team that won the UEFA European Under-19 Championship. He is destined for a bright future in football.
Since the launch of PlayStation Schools’ Cup, Premier League players have visited 40 schools as part of the ‘Tie of the Round’ roadshows. Stellar names that have supported the grassroots initiative include Harry Kane, Juan Mata, Peter Crouch, Gary Cahill, Adam Lallana, Dele Alli, Riyad Mahrez, John Stones and England Women’s captain Steph Houghton. Footballing heroes are once again being lined up to help inspire the next generation of budding players.
PlayStation Schools’ Cup fixtures will take place between September 2017 and March 2018, with the National Finals played in May 2018 as part of a football Festival staged over three-days at a professional football stadium.
PlayStation UK Managing Director Warwick Light commented: “We are delighted to be teaming up with the English Schools FA for the fourth year to host what has become the most high profile grassroots football programmes in the country. Not only does the PlayStation Schools’ Cup give secondary school children from around the country the chance to battle it out on the pitch to win a place at the School’s Cup Festival later in the academic year, but it gives them the chance to meet some of their footballing heroes along the way.”
ESFA Chairman Alan Johnston said: “The smiles on the faces of so many pupils at the roadshow events and the National Finals supported by famous Premier League footballers is a huge testament to the positive impact PlayStation continues to have on grassroots football. PlayStation’s support helps us to continue to improve our professional structure for schools football competitions across the country and we are all extremely excited to be extending our successful partnership for a fourth season.”