Three-day festival taking place in MayMadejski Stadium will play host to the ESFA Playstation Schools’ Cup for the second successive year, with the three-day, grassroots football festival returning to Berkshire in May.
Since September 2014, male and female footballers aged U12-U15 from schools across England have been competing to reach this illustrious stage, and 15 national champions will be crowned between May 18th-20th.
The tournament finals range from the main PlayStation Schools’ Cup competitions through to ‘Small Schools’ trophies and ‘B Team’ cups, all of which have provided a fun and competitive cup format that has been accessible to schools of all sizes and abilities.
The finals are part of the PlayStation Schools’ Cup, the grassroots football partnership between PlayStation and the ESFA. Now in its second season, the partnership has successfully engaged with over 2,000 schools and given over 100,000 children the chance to experience the pride of representing their school in national football tournaments.
The Festival represents a fantastic day out for supporters, too, as over 5,000 spectators headed to Madejski Stadium for the 2013/14 season finale. As well as watching a feast of football, families and school colleagues were treated to a range of activities including PlayStation gaming zones in the concourse, free prize giveaways and half-time spectator competitions – all which contributed to an amazing carnival atmosphere.
More activities are confirmed for the 2015 finals with as many spectators as possible encouraged to come and experience the occasion and watch some of England’s brightest young talents. Tickets are free and all attendees will receive a complimentary matchday programme.
Already proving its credentials for nurturing young players, 15-year-old Fraser Hornby has gone from PlayStation Schools’ Cup player to professional footballer after signing for Premier League side Everton last year. Fraser was part of the Northampton School for Boys U14s’ team who were narrowly defeated in the final of the ESFA Under 14 PlayStation Schools’ Cup last May.
PlayStation UK Marketing Director Murray Pannell said: “Reading Football Club proved the perfect hosts for the 2013/14 PlayStation Schools’ Cup Festival and we’re delighted that we are able to return to Madejski Stadium once again.
“This year has seen an increase in the amount of PlayStation Schools’ Cup tournaments and with the help of the ESFA we have been able to reach out to even more schools and give a further boost to grassroots sport in England.
“Seeing so many smiles on the faces of everyone involved was great to see and we have no doubt that the festival will once again create lifetime memories for all the players involved and provide an experience that all their family, friends and fellow pupils can enjoy.”
ESFA Chairman Mike Spinks added: “It’s amazing how quickly seasons pass by and we are once again hugely grateful to PlayStation for their ongoing support to grassroots football. Last year’s festival was a first for the ESFA in hosting so many finals at one location but it proved to be such a fantastic occasion and one that will live long in the memory.
“We’d like to thank Reading Football Club for once again providing these fantastic facilities for the event and we look forward to watching some of the future stars of tomorrow out on the pitch.”
Schools, players, parents and teams can find all the latest news, stories and competitions by logging onto the website: www.playstationschoolscup.com. They can also keep up to date via Facebook and Twitter.
For more information on ESFA tournaments, visit their official website: http://www.esfa.co.uk and find them on Twitter.