Footballers from Blacon High School will get a flavour of the professional life to help them prepare for the biggest game of a brilliant season.
Players in the school’s Year 9 boys team will run out at the 24,000-seater Madejski Stadium on Wednesday in the English Schools’ Football Association (ESFA) PlayStation Small Schools Cup final.
Keen to give the youngsters the best chance of success and an experience to remember, the school has arranged for them to travel down on Tuesday for an overnight stay.
Players will also be kitted out in smart polo shirts and tracksuits, and have a pre-match meal before the game.
Manager Dave Sabri said reaching the final was a ‘huge achievement’ and the boys had shown a first class attitude on the pitch and in the classroom.
He said: “We are a very small school and the success we have achieved this year has been significant.
“The boys are absolutely over the moon. We qualified for the final a couple of months ago and it’s been the topic of conversation every day since.
“We’re taking them down the night before and having an overnight stay in a nice hotel because it’s a big occasion
“We’re taking them out for a posh meal the night before and a pre-match meal to make it as professional as we possibly can do.
“We have fully kitted the lads out with new gear. Prostar are giving us a kit for the final but we are giving the boys tracksuits, polo shirts and jackets.
“As a school we are getting that for the boys not only for what they achieve football-wise, but because they are acting with real maturity and being role models for the rest of the school.”
Sabri’s side beat Savio Salesian College (Bootle), Stanley High School (Sefton), Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, De La Salle School (Liverpool), Repton School (Derby) and then Durham Community Business College in the semi finals.
Blacon, who have already won the Chester Schools FA Cup, will play Ibstock Place, a private school in Richmond, London, in the final.
Sabri said: “Last year this team got to three semi finals and we got beat within a week in all of them.
“Something that has been so good about the team is that the lads have shown great character and great resilience.
“I'm really proud of the way they have approached each game and so far we have had an immaculate season. We have played over 20 games and we have won every one.
“Over 90 teams entered the cup so it’s a huge achievement and we’re very much looking forward to the final.”
Christleton High School’s Year 9 boys team will be in action at the Madejski Stadium the night before in the ESFA PlayStation Open Schools Cup final.
Christleton’s face Coombe Boys School in the final having beaten beat Stanley High School (Sefton), Bishop Heber High School (Malpas), Calday Grange Grammar School (Wirral), Priory School (Shrewsbury), South Hunsley High School (East Riding) and St Augustine’s RC High School (Billington).