Downsend U11 footballers qualify for two National Finals

The Downsend U11 football team has made history by qualifying for not one, but two National finals in the same week.

On 05 October, the team competed at Trinity School in the IAPS U11 Football Tournament, defeating 8 teams to become the Regional winners, which will see them progress to the National Finals on 28 November at Millfield Prep School. Commended for their stoic play without a recognised goalkeeper, the boys took turns to play in goal, playing with an additional outfield player while the goalie used only their feet, keeping the ball on the floor and playing out from the back. A stunning display of quality football from every member of the team.

Not content with one win, the team then went on to compete in the ISFA U11 Sevens Hampshire Tournament the very next day. A fantastic demonstration of confident, free-flowing football, the boys continued their impressive form throughout the group stage, topping the group unbeaten. The quarter-final against Walhampton led to an impressive win, and was shortly followed by a victory in the semi-final against Twyford on penalties. In the final, Downsend retained their composure and took a fantastic win against Churcher’s College.

The final will take place at the National Football Centre at St George’s Park on 03 May 2022.

Read the full write-up of the match here.

Ian Thorpe, proud Headmaster at Downsend commented, “It is a testament to the strength of character, the hard work and the sheer talent of our pupils that has led to such a remarkable result this week. I am proud of the team, and of the supportive, inspiring and committed staff that have enabled such a fantastic result.”

Grant Lawrence, Director of Sport at Downsend said, “The boys played with enthusiasm, dedication and composure beyond their years, employing skilful football against strong competitors. Taking on the finals will be an exciting and challenging experience for the team, but I know they are up to the job and will train hard to provide an exceptional performance in both finals.”

Sport is part of the DNA at Downsend, supporting budding athletes through elite pathways or by simply providing all pupils with the opportunity to represent their school through competition in a wide range of sports. The school firmly believes that sport has the ability to promote positive wellbeing, develop character and build the resilience that will stand young people in good stead for the rest of their lives.

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