The Sports Hall at Ravens Wood School in Bromley was packed with over 100 pupils, as they excitedly awaited the arrival of their Crystal Palace hero Wilfried Zaha. As he walked through the doors, the room erupted to loud applause.
Zaha’s pupil Q&A session revealed that the toughest player he has faced is Manchester United defender Antonio Valencia, whilst declaring himself as Palace’s best player on the popular FIFA 19 game. The Crystal Palace star went on explain the best advice he has been given is to always believe in your own ability.
Ravens Wood School has a strong football pedigree of its own, having previously won the PlayStation Schools’ Cup. Prior to Zaha’s arrival, their U12 team faced Harris Crystal Palace School in an ESFA PlayStation Schools’ Cup fixture. The Ravens Wood team included four Crystal Palace academy players that lined up against their local rivals. Having won their match in empathic style, completing a 6-1 victory, the Ravens Wood side were rewarded with a team photo alongside Zaha.
Immediately after kick-off, four of the Ravens Wood Year 7 team were whisked off to support a filming shoot with Zaha that was organised by the Sky Sports grassroots TV show Game Changers. The pupils helped the Game Changers presenter put Zaha through a series of trick, question and tip challenges.
Zaha was then on hand to support the second PlayStation Schools’ Cup fixture of the day. This time the Ravens Wood U15 team were facing Forest School from London. Zaha took time to meet both teams prior to kick-off. It proved a closely fought game, with the score 2-2 when the whistle was blown for full-time. With the game going into extra time, Forest School scored a dramatic goal to go through to the next round.
Immediately after meeting the U15 teams, Zaha headed to the school’s Sports Hall that had been hosting the PS4 Gaming Zone throughout the day. Zaha, who is a self-proclaimed PlayStation fan, now faced Ravens Wood pupil Liam Vincent for a game on FIFA 19. Showing he is just as skilful on PlayStation, Zaha went on to win the contest 2-0.
You can follow all the behind-the-scenes action across the PlayStation Schools’ Cup social media channels.
We would like to say a big thank you to Wilfried Zaha for proving a great inspiration to grassroots football and extend our appreciation to Ravens Wood School for hosting the second PlayStation Schools’ Cup roadshow of the season.