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Nottinghamshire Schools’ Football Association Annual Report for Season 2007/08

Honorary Secretary’s Report

It has been a pleasure over the last few seasons to begin the writing of the Annual Report of the Association as member schools and districts continue to reap unparalleled success on the national stage by either winning titles or reaching the later stages of competitions. Not a large association by national standards, Nottinghamshire has retained a high profile within the English Schools’ Football Association through the sustained efforts of pupils and staff across the County.

The two outstanding performances were, of course, by the Under 13 side of Trinity School from Aspley, winning the ESFA / Minute Maid title at The Ricoh Arena, Coventry and the Under 11 squad of Peafield Lane Primary School from Mansfield Woodhouse, lifting the Boys Individual 7-a-side Trophy at Wembley. Everyone involved with these two teams, players, officials and supporters enhanced Nottinghamshire’s reputation by the way they played the game and the manner in which they were encouraged and supported – indeed generating many comments from people outside the County that came into contact with them.

As last season with Worksop, Retford & District and Rushcliffe School, it is only fitting that I reproduce below in full the reports that were written after the two sides had become Champions of England!

Trinty School 3 v 1 Poole Grammar School

Trinity School from Nottingham, kicked off this Individual Schools Under 13 ESFA / Minute Maid National Final at Coventry City’s Ricoh Arena against Poole Grammar School from Dorset looking to become the second Nottinghamshire side to win a national title this year. Although in good condition, early rain had affected the pitch in different ways, ideal for slick passing in some areas but then holding the ball up in others.

Both teams underlined their attacking ambitions in the opening few minutes with the first chance falling to Trinity when a Joseph Dodoo header just cleared the bar following a right wing corner and then at the other end Trinity were lucky to escape as a Poole break down the right saw the ball beat the advancing keeper only to be cleared off the line.

Trinity gradually began to exert heavy pressure on the Dorset sides defence and another corner, this time on the left, led to a goal mouth scramble inside the six yard box that was somehow cleared and then a minute later Jamahl Salmon fired in a fierce shot from the right hand corner of the area that crashed against the bar and rebounded out.

The Nottingham side were now well on top with Louis Greenway-Tambini posing a constant threat to the Poole defence. After having a goal disallowed for offside in the fifteenth minute and another effort, when chesting the ball down with his back to goal and turning to hit a terrific volley only to see the Poole keeper make an excellent save, he fired the Nottingham school into the lead with a strong run across the edge of the penalty area and then turned to hit a great strike across the keeper into the far corner.

On eighteen minutes Greenway-Tambini once more tested the Poole keeper but he produced another great save to push the effort round the post for a corner. The Trinity goal however, seemed to fire determination into the Poole side as they came much more into the game and were unlucky not to find an equaliser before the break. Harry Cornick found himself in acres of space in a central position just inside the area but lifted his shot high over the bar as the ball took a nasty bobble at the crucial moment. A 24th minute free kick to Poole came to nothing but then a minute later the ball was somehow kept out of the Trinity net in a frantic goal mouth scramble.

The Trinity defence was now under severe pressure with Williams particularly on the left hand side having a great game for the Nottingham school. Poole unluckily hit the bar with a great 25 yard free kick and then had two clear chances in the dying seconds of the half as first Cornick produced a terrific turn and shot that flashed just past the post and then Michael Porter burst onto a beautifully weighted through ball but unfortunately saw his shot slide wide. Trinity were no doubt the happier of the two sides to hear

the half time whistle and relieved to reach the break still 1 – 0 up.

Both sides began the second half in determined fashion and as in the opening period the initial chance fell to Trinity with Salmon cutting in from the left but putting his firm shot past the near post when a simple square cross to colleagues in space would probably have been the better option. Poole replied on seven minutes with a free kick from just outside the area that curled round the far post and Trinity then had their own free kick well saved by the Dorset side's keeper.

On forty minutes a good run by Jovan Mullings gave Michael Thomas the chance to put Trinity further ahead but again Poole’s keeper came to the rescue at the expense of a corner. Poole deservedly levelled the scores after 44 minutes following a mix up between the Trinity defence and their keeper. Callum Fox was brought down and following lengthy treatment from the physio, got up to slot home the spot kick and put Poole right back in the game.

Unfortunately, their joy was short lived as Trinity replied almost immediately with a goal of their own. An incisive run and cross by Mullings found Greenway-Tambini in the six yard box and he was able to bundled the ball home to restore the Nottingham school’s lead. They now began to look the stronger side and chances for Mullings and Thomas followed in quick succession. Poole were definitely not going down without a fight though and Edward Tierney, who had had an excellent match, brought out a great one handed save from the Trinity keeper in a one on one situation.

The title was effectively won by Trinity however eight minutes from the end when a superb mazy run by Mullings down the flank led to a corner. This was taken short and Greenway-Tambini, after beating two or three defenders, squared the ball across the middle to give Salmon the chance to accept the opportunity and he confidently stroked the ball home from 8 yards out. With Joseph Dodoo in commanding form at the back for Trinity the Nottingham side looked comfortable as the clock ticked down.

Substitutions were coming thick and fast by now as players tired and both managers attempted to give as many of their squads as possible the experience of at least a few minutes on the pitch in a national final. Both teams were presented with their medals and Trinity with the Minute Maid Cup by Stuart Inger, the Vice Chairman of the English Schools Football Association.

Peafield Lane School 2 v 1 Dinglewell School

The boys of Peafield Lane School’s Under 11 football team had two days to remember for the rest of their lives as they became champions of England on Saturday at Wembley Stadium. In what is believed to be the largest schools’ competition in the world, the Under 11 English Schools’ F.A. 7-a-side Championship for boys with nearly 3000 entries nationwide, Peafield Lane’s success story began in October when they won the Mansfield Primary Schools’ competition. That qualified them for the Nottinghamshire County Competition the following month against the champion schools from eight other areas. After an undefeated morning of group and knock-out games, they became County Champions and reached the Midland Finals at Leicester last month. There they triumphed over 11 other schools to become one of the last four teams left in the competition.

A large party of players, other pupils, parents and supporters travelled down the M1 on Friday morning to the Watford Football Club Academy Ground where the semi-finals of all four English Schools’ Primary competitions for Boys, Girls, Small Primary Schools and District Representative teams were played in the late afternoon.

Peafield Lane were drawn against the northern champions, Rickleton School from Washington; with both sides well supported there was a great atmosphere and the first half of 12 minutes saw the Mansfield school generally on top although the goal which gave them the lead was somewhat fortuitous. The always dangerous Luke Darby hooked in a shot from 25 yards and with the Rickleton keeper slightly off his line, it drifted over him into the top of the net. The second half saw Rickleton giving their all but with captain Harry Joule and Conor Green defending well, most of their attempts were from long range so that Peafield Lane held on for the win to put them in the final.

All sixteen teams from the four competitions then travelled further into London to their overnight hotels before making the once in a lifetime journey to play at Wembley Stadium on Saturday morning where the finals and 3rd/4th place play-offs were the main element of the pre-match entertainment prior to the Under 18 England Schools v Scotland Schools’ international game.

Peafield Lane were involved in the penultimate final in which they met Dinglewell School from Gloucester and made a dream start when Luke Darby put them ahead in the second minute. His goal, like the second from Liam Green, was set up by the influential Cameron Dear, a Year 5 pupil ensuring Peafield held a comfortable 2-0 lead at half-time.

Nerves began to kick-in after the interval, particularly when Dinglewell took advantage of a defensive error to make the score 2-1. Peafield Lane too often gave the ball away and Dinglewell had two golden opportunities to level the scores for a share of the trophy. Poor ball control at the crucial moment saw both chances go begging and Peafield Lane hung on for the coveted national title which made them the third Nottinghamshire team in three years to take one of the English Schools’ Primary Cups.

Other teams from the Association also did remarkably well in reaching the latter stages of national competitions. The County Under 16 Girls Squad went out on penalties in the national semi-final to Leicestershire – a team they had beaten 5 – 1 earlier in the year although in fairness that result was a little flattering to the Notts side and Leicestershire played very well in the semi-final coming back from 1 – 0 down to lead 2 – 1 with Nottinghamshire equalising 15 minutes from the end to take the match into extra time. Two further periods could not separate the teams leaving Leicestershire to secure their place in the National Final by winning the penalty shoot out 5 – 3. Notable performances for this excellent group of girls included a 2 – 1 away win over a good Shropshire side and a 2 - 1 national quarter-final win over Durham at Collingham.

The Under 15 Girls Squad from the Dukeries Community College had a fantastic run in the ESFA National Competition, again falling at the semi final stage, losing to a very strong Thomas Telford team in Shropshire and severely hampered by TWO key members of the team both succumbing to appendicitis in the days leading up to the match. The team had come through previous rounds scoring freely and as one of the unavailable players was the goalkeeper who had been highly influential throughout the cup run and was replaced by probably the best defender in the team, the balance of the side was understandably disrupted. Highlights of the excellent run were a 5 – 2 away win against last years champion school, Thorpe St Andrew of Norwich and a 6 – 0 away thumping of Wickersley School near Rotherham. Let’s hope they can reproduce the same sort of performances and go one better if they represent Nottinghamshire in the ESFA / RAF Under 16 Girls Individual Schools Cup next season.

The County Under 16 team once more reached the national quarter final of the Inter County Competition but were disappointingly defeated by the atrocious weather on the day rather than by opponents Northumberland. A good number of the squad may well be staying on in post 16 education and we hope that they are available to form the basis of the Under 18 squad next season.

The 5-a-side Under 12 team from Redhill School did exceptionally well to reach the last eight and the national finals day of the ESFA Indoor 5-a-side Competition at the JJB Soccer Dome in Derby. Unfortunately they found themselves in the same Round Robin Group as the two eventual finalists and were not able to progress into the semi-finals.

The West Bridgford Under 12 side had a fantastic run in the ESFA Cup for Boys before eventually losing 1 – 0 to the Dukeries Under 15 Girls conquerors, Thomas Telford School in a very closely contested match. They had come through seven previous difficult rounds and we look forward to seeing what the new season brings for this team. Garibaldi Under 12s also made good progress in the same competition before being beaten by Rawmarsh School from Rotherham.

Rushcliffe Under 13 Girls, having won the Nottinghamshire Minute Maid title, fought their way through the Midlands rounds to reach the Midlands semi-final, going out unluckily 5 – 4 to Leysland School from Leicestershire. One of the other Nottinghamshire representatives in the Minute Maid Midlands rounds was Ashfield School who, after winning their first round match against Tibshelf Community College, were unfortunate to meet Trinity School, the eventual national winners, in Round 2 narrowly losing 3 – 2.

Joseph Whitaker School from Rainworth and Serlby Park School from Bircotes both produced fine performances in the ESFA Under 14 Cup reaching Round 6 before they were drawn to face one another with Joseph Whitaker just gaining the upper hand. Whitaker then went on to reach the national quarter-finals before beating put out by finalists Lancaster School from Leicester.

Unfortunately, none of our three boys and girls representatives in the ESFA Under 16 RAF Cup were able to progress further than the early rounds

The other County Representative Squads enjoyed mixed fortunes. Unfortunately, despite one of its squad, Markel Bailey, being selected to represent the English Schools with the international team, the Under 18 side was unable to complete its fixtures in the eastern section of the Midland Counties group stages. Injuries and the amount of Under 18 football now offered to this age group meant that the team management constantly struggled to get full squads together with the final straw coming as the number of available players fell from 14 to 9 on the evening before the match with Lincolnshire. Sadly, there was no other option available than to withdraw from the competition. It is hoped, however, that the Under 18 side will compete again in the 2008 / 2009 season.

The County Under 15 squad were within a few minutes of making the Midlands Schools Football Federation Final until Northamptonshire and Derbyshire met at Daventry on the evening of the limit date with Derbyshire needing a win by two clear goals or more to pip Notts and earn a place in the final against West Midlands. The game was tied up at 3 – 3 going into time added on during which Derbyshire unbelievably scored the two goals they needed to reach the final. This game was played so late in the season that the final will not now take place until September!

Representative football at District level was once again almost all provided by Nottingham and South Notts squads. Mansfield were unable to field any teams and Worksop, Retford & District just one at Under 13 mainly due to a lack of volunteers to run the sides. South Notts Under 15s won both the Simmonds Plate competition and the Hill-Bingham Cup whilst Nottingham Under 14s were runners-up in the Hereward League and the Under 13s also finished second in the ESFA Area D League. In the Inter District County Cups, Nottingham held the upper hand this season taking the Cobbin Cup at Under 15, the Norris Cup at Under 14 and the Under 13 Pavis Trophy whilst South Notts recorded their first win for ten years in the Under 13 Intermediate Cup.

As with secondary representative football, the primary scene involved mainly two districts - Bassetlaw and Nottingham with Gedling and South Broxtowe putting teams together to take part in some of the small sided tournaments. Nottingham won the County Primary Cup at Highfields and were also successful in three of the four small sided tournaments – the Boys and Girls 7-a-sides and the Boys 5-a-sides whilst Bassetlaw won the Girls 5-a-side tournament at the North Notts Arena..

The three Primary Small Sided Individual Schools tournaments were all highly competitive and enjoyable events. Peafield Lane of course won the Boys 7-a-sides before going on to Regional and National glory, Arno Vale progressed to the Regional finals in Leicester but could go no further and North Leverton, having won the County Small Schools title competed in the Regionals at Grove Farm in March.

Without exception, all the County Cup finals were excellent encounters making it difficult to pick out any in particular for mention but the Under 19 John Fox Cup between Rushcliffe and Becket, won by the latter following a defeat by the former a few days earlier in the South Notts final, a 3-2 win for Valley against Redhill in a terrific Girls Under 14 Active Shield final, an excellent Under 15 Netz Shield final between local rivals Manor and Ashfield, won by Manor 2-0 and played in a fine spirit and the Under 11 Girls Reprotec Shield with Radcliffe on Trent defeating St Teresa’s from Nottingham 1-0 in a brilliant advert for girls football were probably the pick of the matches. Despite notification of final dates being sent out it was disappointing that often finals took place with only two officials present (sometimes one). Besides the ‘moral’ support aspect, it is very difficult to run a County Final with just one person present – greeting teams and referees, putting up nets, giving out programmes, making sure match balls are available, setting out full time refreshments in the dressing rooms, arranging presentation of medals, taking photographs, thanking referees and officials from the ground/club, speaking to competing teams as they leave and generally clearing up.

The Association extends grateful thanks to all the clubs and schools that provided grounds for these finals to take place – Collingham FC, Bilborough Pelican FC, Burton Joyce Poplars Sports Ground, Notts County FC, Nottingham Forest FC Academy Ground, Clipstone Welfare FC and Stanhope Primary School where all three of the Primary Finals took place.

The Association was again pleased to stage the Midland Regional Finals of the English Schools’ FA Small Sided Competitions at Grove Farm, Clifton on the 1 March – brought forward by six or seven weeks because of the staging of the finals of these tournaments at Wembley Stadium on 26 April as pre-match entertainment to the England versus Scotland Under 18 Schools International. Teams from all over the East and West Midlands gathered to contest the Inter District 7-a-side won by Solihull Primary Schools FA and the Small Primary Schools 7-a-side won by Crescent School from Warwickshire with the winners of both competitions going on to play the national semi-finals at Watford FC Academy ground on the Friday afternoon before the Wembley date. The losers of these semi-finals also played at Wembley in 3rd and 4th place play off matches.

The Association was pleased to enter into an agreement with Collingham FC at the beginning of the season that involved a financial investment into the club to assist with the purchase and erection of new floodlights at the Station Lane ground in return for ten games per season for the next five years being played at the club. This appears to have been an excellent arrangement for both parties and our thanks go to Collingham FC for the welcome and hospitality they offer whenever we play there. In fact, visiting teams always comment on and are envious of the excellence of the facilities and catering they experience at Collingham. We offer our grateful thanks to the club and its officials.

The Association hopes that schools will continue to increase their use of the Association web site to keep up to date with the Nottinghamshire Cup competitions and use it to arrange their future matches in the competitions by contacting their own opponents rather than waiting to be informed by the Competition Secretaries. We would also like to strongly encourage increasing use of e-mail to send details of results to the organisers.

The website has received an encouraging amount of use during its third season and also provides opportunities for schools to post details of their own matches for publicity purposes. It has been possible to give good coverage to those schools and County squads who made excellent progress in national events this season but the Association would appeal to schools and especially Local Associations to make further use of this form of media coverage. Further recent development on the web site of a photo gallery now means that photographs taken at events through the season can be offered for sale to parents and supporters through the site.

The Nottinghamshire Schools Council for Sport continues to play a vital part in the financial support for all schools’ sport including football and thanks to the tireless work of Gerry Mills, the Secretary and Peter Sanders, the Treasurer, help from the Nottinghamshire and Nottingham Childrens’ Services Department continues to be much greater than in neighbouring counties.

As always, the Association offers its sincere thanks to the following organisations and individuals:

Reprotec for their continued invaluable support and financial assistance.

  • The volunteer referees who give so much of their time and commitment to the Association and Schools Football.
  • Private individuals who support the Association financially.
  • All the schools and clubs that make their facilities available to the Association and offer us such a warm welcome.
  • Nottingham Forest and Notts County who are always keen to help out whenever they can, particularly Jane Carnelly at Forest and Tony Cuthbert at County.
  • The Nottinghamshire Football Association with whom the Association continues to enjoy an excellent relationship.
  • The City and County Councils who continue to give the Association much needed financial support through the Nottinghamshire Schools Council for Sport.
  • Margaret Richardson for her continued administrative work.
  • All the personnel – teachers, ex-teachers, non-teachers, parents and supporters who together combine to offer the pupils of Nottinghamshire and Nottingham schools a wide and varied programme of football competition.

Both Individual School and Representative teams continue to make Nottinghamshire one of the leading Associations in the country and we must do our upmost to see that all the County teams receive the backing and support which they deserve and hope that the wonderful successes of recent seasons can be continued.

John Williamson – Honorary Secretary

Secondary Competition Results 2007 - 2008

U15 Cobbin Cup Nottingham 1 v 0 South Notts

U14 Norris Trophy Nottingham 3 v 2 South Notts

U13 Intermediate Cup South Notts 3 v 1 Nottingham

U13 Pavis Trophy Nottingham 5 v 3 South Notts

U14 Gordon Mills Cup West Bridgford 2 v 0 Big Wood

U15 Forest Bowl Dayncourt 1 v 0 Djanogly

U14 Forest Vase West Bridgford 3 v 0 Top Valley

U19 John Fox Cup Becket 3 v 1 Rushcliffe

U16 Hawkins Cup Trinity 1 v 0 Becket

U16 Girls Hilary Swinn Cup West Bridgford 7 v 2 Dukeries

U15 Netz Shield Manor 2 v 0 Ashfield

U14 Chaplin Shield Becket 3 v 3 Wheldon 
(Trophy shared)

U14 Girls Active Sports Trophy Valley 3 v 2 Redhill

U13 Graham Cordell Cup Trinity 5 v 2 Ashfield

U13 Girls Fred Riddell Shield Rushcliffe 6 v 1 West Bridgford

U12 Reprotec Cup West Bridgford 3 v 0 Magnus

U12 Girls West Bridgford Colts Shield Redhill 4 v 1 Col Frank Seely

Primary Competition Results 2007 – 2008

U11 Reprotec Primary Cup Nottingham 2 v 1 Bassetlaw

U11 Inter Association 7-a-side Nottingham

U11 Inter Association 5-a-side Nottingham

U11 Girls Inter Association 7-a-side Nottingham

U11 Girls Inter Association 5-a-side Bassetlaw

U11 Majestic Trophies Shield Bispham Drive 3 v 0 Milford

U11 George Abbott Shield Willow Farm 1 v 1 Annesley
(Trophy sahred)
U11 Reprotec Girls Shield Radcliffe on Trent 1 v 0 St Teresa’s

U11 Boys Individual Schools 7-a-side Peafield Lane School (Mans Woodhouse)

U11 Girls Individual Schools 7-a-side Arno Vale (Arnold)

U11 Small Schools 6-a-side North Leverton

Honorary Treasurer's Report

The Association continues to provide a large amount of activity for the benefit of pupils in our schools. The successes at national level reflect the quality of the underpinning, which is the whole membership.

Further, importantly there is the provision of football played in the proper spirit. Setting high standards is a sound educational principle. In addition, young people enjoy the game more!

At the end of last season, we entered into an agreement with Collingham Football Club. We made a contribution to their ground development fund. In return, we have the use of their fine ground ten times each season without further payment for five years. This includes use of their floodlights and other facilities. It eases the burden on our administration and a range of matches have already taken place. Any loss of bank interest will be offset by the static hire sum for five years.

The above explains a large part of the decrease in our financial funds this year. Unfortunately, it does not explain all. The biennial fluctuation of representative fixtures causes variations. However, a general increase in costs, such as travel, is causing concern.

Grant Aid has been of immense help once more. We should not be able to exist as we do without the continued help of the City of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire County Councils. It means that our member Associations and the teachers working voluntarily for them have a sounder base. The co-operation between City and County is an example to many other authorities.

The Nottinghamshire Schools Council for Sport is responsible for the grant's administration and for other supportive measures. Thanks are again given to them on behalf of all school sport. ESFA payments under grant aid have also significantly helped. The Nottinghamshire Football Association and Notts County Council continue to give valuable support with specific initiatives, notably in girls’ football. Our friends at Reprotec have also continued with their valuable support. It is also a pleasure to work with them.

The overall view has caused Mr Micawber to have a worrying year. Metaphorically speaking, we need that income of twenty shillings and sixpence with the outlay of only one pound to be positive! It has not happened this year. We may need to consult Mr Scrooge.

We have already looked at ways in which we can be more frugal, without lowering standards. Increased use of the website will, hopefully, result in decreased costs elsewhere.

Mike Simmonds, as Development Officer, nurtures partnerships, whilst John Williamson works hard to keep the Association running. Other Committee Members also give freely of their time. No-one must be taken for granted for they perform valued tasks. Margaret Richardson continues to help behind the scenes in administration.

There are widening opportunities with the introduction of the new structure in school sport. I hope that we shall be able to link to provide extra benefit for the pupils of Nottinghamshire.

P C Smith – Honorary Treasurer


Brought forward - Cheque Acc 331.47 Final balance - Cheque Acc 555.31
Interest Acc 17346.01 Interest Acc 10769.37
Balance negative 6352.80


Brought forward 17346.01 Balance 10769.37
Transfers 3500.00 Transfers 10500.00
Interest 423.36

It would appear costs are rising and income not. Nevertheless, these accounts are a true representation of the year. (Signed) Jon Hall 20/06/2008

Development Officer’s Report

Once again, the Development Officer must report that the main aim of recruiting additional personnel to help with the Association’s activities was not achieved. The situation becomes more serious as the years go by and in spite of various initiatives such as the appointment of Competition Managers and the continued development of School Sports Partnerships, the future of the Association will be bleak unless further administrators can be found.

The Development Officer has continued to work hard in his endeavours to link with various bodies in a bid to improve the delivery of schools’ football in Nottinghamshire. Now that football has come under the remit of the Competition Managers, possibly the most fruitful link has been the invitation to serve on the Steering Committee leading the Competition Managers and further meetings with Kathryn Lacey, the Senior Competition Manager, are planned in the hope that her team will be able to fill some of the gaps in schools’ football provision in some areas of the county. A survey is currently being carried out so that an accurate picture of the current situation in Nottinghamshire can be achieved.

The development of girls’ football has been a major focus and the Girls’ Performance and Excellence group and the Nottinghamshire F.A.’s Girls and Women’s Committee have been invaluable in continuing the already close relationships between the Nottingham Forest Centre of Excellence, Club football in the county and the Nottinghamshire Schools’ F.A. There is no doubt about the improvement in the quality of girls’ football in recent seasons but there are indications that some schools are having difficulty in finding sufficient players for 11-a-side football.

The Association has played its part in supporting the various events which have been held around the F.A. Women’s Cup Final which has taken place at Nottingham Forest on May Day for the past two seasons. Both the County Under 16 squad and the City Under 11s took part in the Skills Event which was held in the Market Square, Nottingham prior to the Cup Final.

A disappointment for the Association is the lack of quality indoor venues with spectator facilities within Nottinghamshire so that some of the popular competitions have suffered and will make it difficult for the Association to develop Futsal which is part of the E.S.F.A.’s Development Plan.

Mike Simmonds – Development Officer

County Under 18 Team Report

This was the season that wasn’t. The trials got off to a bad start with over 30 players nominated and only 9 attending. The next trial was a game against South Notts College. We invited 15 players to attend but on the night only 10 players turned up and we had to use players from South Notts to make up a team. After a number of phone calls and chasing up players who hadn’t attended trials but whom we knew may be interested in playing for the county we did manage to put a small squad together. Things didn’t get any better at half term when we were due to play a fixture against West Midlands. The night before the game a number of players became unavailable and the fixture was called off. After a meeting with committee members it was decide to continue and to try to fulfil are commitment of competition fixtures. We managed to get a squad of players together to play against Humberside at Collingham. This was the first time the team had been together and they only lost 2-1 to a strong Humberside outfit. In our next fixture we played Lincolnshire at Collingham. Once more we struggled to put a side together as players withdrew at the last minute. We lost the game 5 – 1. We were due to play Lincolnshire away soon afterwards but it was decided not to continue as we were unable to raise a team for this game.

A combination of schools / colleges not nominating players to the county trials, players who are nominated not attending the trials, the increase of amateur clubs running academy teams at Under 18 level and players playing at a semi–professional level has increased the demands of players in this age group. The colleges in the county now play in mid week academy leagues and with training also to fit in, players find it increasingly difficult to commit time to the County team. All these factors have combined to make running the County side more difficult.

On a brighter note, three of the squad went to the England trials. They were Massiah MacDonald, Michael Hewitt and Markel Bailey. Michael Hewitt and Markel Bailey both made the final trial and Markel was selected for team and has represented the England U18 Schools squad during their fixtures this season.

I will be stepping down as team manager for next season and handing over to Richard Walmsley. Richard has supported me for a number a years and I wish him all the best and success for the coming season.

Chris Hallas – Under 18 Team Manager

The County Under 18 Squad – Managers – Chris Hallas / Richard Walmsley

James Belshaw Becket Paul Burgess Garibaldi
Alex Goddard Castle College Chris Allwood Newark & Sherwood
Kieran Walker Castle College Alex Troughton Manor
Kurt Tennent Garibaldi James Duffy Trinity
Michael Hewitt Garibaldi Craig Meakin South Nottingham
Josh Harding Nottingham High Massiah McDonald Castle
Andrew Simpson Harry Carlton Dale Gilliatt Garibaldi
Lenford Jenkins South Nottingham Darren Seagrave Garibaldi
Tom Bradley Elizabethan Markel Bailey Castle

Results were as follows:

V Humberside at Collingham FC 1-2

V Lincolnshire at Collingham FC 1-5

County Under 16 Team Report

Two excellent years for a talented squad of players ended in bitter disappointment on a wind-swept ground at Northumbria University as the Under 16 Nottinghamshire Schools’ representative squad lost 1-0 to Northumberland in the national quarter-final of the E.S.F.A./F.A. Premiere League County Championship. After a successful year as Under 15’s, hopes were high of a good run in the national competition and these were raised still further when the opening friendly match against South Yorkshire ended in a 4-3 win after a fine recovery from a 3-1 deficit.

Two reasonably comfortable victories against Humberside and Derbyshire in the two opening games in the East Midlands League put Notts in a strong position but a weakened squad of 13 players then lost at Holmes Park against the strong Leicestershire side. Notts recovered well from this setback and thrashed Derbyshire 7-0 to take the group title on goal difference and thus qualify for the Midlands semi-final against Staffordshire. This gave the chance of revenge for their defeat in the Under 15 Midland Counties Final the previous season and in an extremely physical match which went to extra time, Nottinghamshire finally won 3-2, perhaps a trifle fortunately, to go through to the national last eight.

The conditions for the quarter final against Northumberland were appalling with an 80 mile an hour wind blowing across the pitch to make conditions almost impossible. Indeed the busiest person on the ground was the spectator on the far side of the pitch who spent all his time chasing footballs which had been blown into touch and up to a hundred yards away towards Newcastle Rugby Club’s ground. One goal was enough to settle the match in the home side’s favour to end Nottinghamhsire’s hopes of a third national victory in six seasons. It was a sad end for the squad who had represented the county with skill and pride, thanks in no small measure to the managerial skills of Kelvin Hornsby and Simon Coleman. The only disappointment of the season was that three of substitutes against Staffordshire decided of their own volition to go and get changed before the end of the game, thus relinquishing their places in the squad

Results were as follows :

v. South Yorkshire at Harworth Colliery 4-3

v. Humberside at Pocklington 4-2

v. Lincolnshire at Clipstone 2-0

v. Leicestershire at Holmes Park 1-2

v. Derbyshire at Clipstone 7-0

v. Staffordshire at Bilborough Pelican 3-2 (a.e.t) (Midlands Semi-final)

v. Northumberland at Northumbria University 0-1 (National Quarter-final)

Mike Simmonds – Under 16 Convenor

The County Under 16 Squad – Managers – Kelvin Hornsby / Simon Coleman / Peter Holyk

Gianluca Rocco Trinity Sam Stretton Dukeries
Anthony Crump Valley Lewis Bingham Dukeries
Kurt Smith Valley Conor Higginson Dukeries
Perry Jones Valley Sean Lynk Ashfield
Ross Stallworthy Valley Daniel Fox Portland
Liam Palmer Valley Mario Lopez Big Wood
Craig Gladwin Valley Jacob Webster Eastwood
Tom Hunt Valley Craig Clay Fairham
Matthew Wilkinson Wiiliam Sharp Lewis Croucher All Saints

County Under 16 Girls Team Report

The season will be remembered as the best ever for the Nottinghamshire Under 16 girls’ squad which reached the semi-final of the English Schools’ F.A. Under 16 County Championship and were desperately unfortunate to lose on penalties to Leicestershire at that stage.

An intensive trialling process included two sessions to which school and club players were invited and nearly 80 girls were seen at Arnold Hill School and Joseph Whitaker School. Nominations were received from schools and clubs but it was disappointing that some schools with good quality players did not nominate girls; it is hoped that all talented girls will be given the chance of representing the county next season.

Those selected from the two trial sessions were then invited to an evening of coaching and small-sided games at the Nottingham Forest Ladies Centre of Excellence; girls at the Centre had not been asked to attend the two trials but were obviously seen by the Team Managers on that evening. The Association is most grateful to Steve Pritchard, the Centre of Excellence Director and the staff of the Centre for their co-operation and help. After this session, a squad of just over 20 players was chosen for two friendly matches against Derbyshire and West Yorkshire in October which confirmed the view that there was a talented squad available. These games were followed by an irritating hiatus caused largely by the weather which meant that the competitive matches in the County Championship had to be squeezed into a compressed period after Christmas.

A long journey to Shrewsbury was undertaken by a weakened squad because of school commitments, injury and illness but the game against Shropshire revealed that in addition to talent, the squad possessed a fighting spirit which helped them to a 2-1 success. A comparatively easy win against Derbyshire left the final match against Leicestershire the decider for the Midland group title and a superb second half performance ensured that Nottinghamshire took the honours and became first holders of the Midland Counties Federation Trophy as well as qualifying for the national quarter-finals for the eighth time in ten years.

Nottinghamshire were favoured with a home draw against Durham and a frantic match laced with moments of great skill saw Nottinghamshire reach the national semi-final for only the second time with a 2-1 victory. With Leicestershire beating Northumberland 2-0 in their semi-final, the neighbouring county were the semi-final opponents and visited Collingham for the second time in eight weeks. They proved much tougher opposition than previously and a thrilling and fluctuating match was the outcome. Notts took the lead but came under severe pressure after the interval and Leicestershire went 2-1 ahead before the home side produced a brave revival which was rewarded with an equaliser which took the game to extra time. The additional periods failed to produce a winner so the tie had to be settled by penalties. Both sides netted their first three kicks but Nottinghamshire missed their fourth and finally went down 5-3 on penalties.

An unbeaten year thus ended in the saddest possible manner but the squad members can be proud of their achievements which made them the most successful Nottinghamshire side since representative football for girls began in the county in 1997. Their team spirit and superb attitude made the squad a delight to be with and the Team Managers, Ian Fidler and Faye Wignall were the first to admit that they had an easy task. The Association extends its grateful thanks to all those who were involved at some stage and commiserations to those who just missed out on the squad.

We are also grateful to the Nottinghamshire F.A. for their financial support and provision of a new kit, to Girls’ and Women’s Development Officer Trevor Powell and the Nottingham Forest Ladies Centre of Excellence Director, Steve Pritchard for their assistance and support. Above all, the time and goodwill of parents and other supporters was greatly appreciated.

Results were as follows:

v. West Yorkshire at Brighouse (Friendly) 1-1

v. Derbyshire at Bilborough Pelican(Friendly) 2-0

v. Shropshire at Shrewbury (ESFA County Champ) 2-1

v. Derbyshire at Moorways (ESFA County Champ) 5-2

v. Leicestershire at Collingham (ESFA C.Champ) 5-1

v. Durham at Collingham (ESFA quarter-final) 2-1

v. Leicestershire at Collingham (ESFA semi-final) 2-2 (Leics won 5-3 on pens).

While it may seem invidious to pick out individuals in what was so obviously a squad achievement, congratulations must go to Mary Earps who represented England Under 15’s in an international match at Bisham Abbey and to captain Sammy-Jo Pratt whose leadership both on and off the field was superb throughout the season.

Mike Simmonds – Under 16 Girls Convenor

The County Under 16 Girls Squad – Managers – Ian Fidler / Faye Wignall

Mary Earps Becket Meg Horrey Greenwood
Phoebe Penfold West Bridgford Paxton Johnson Magnus
Emma Connington Dukeries Megan Howard Dukeries
Bethany Pigott West Bridgford Amber Wildgust Redhill
Kim Woodcott Farnborough Hannah Lawrence Greenwood
Sammy-Jo Pratt Greenwood Alexia Smith West Bridgford
Charlotte Taylor West Bridgford Lucy Moss National
Paige Crossman Elizabethan Grace John Elizabethan

County Under 15 Team Report

It has been a mixed season for the Under 15s this season. The season was really split in two distinct halves with the trials and first league match taking place in October and November and the rest of the league matches being played in March and April.

On the pitch there were some really pleasing and promising performances with the second half display against a good Derbyshire side being the highlight in a match that so nearly was won. The significance of that drawn result was only to be realised once the league was finished with Notts missing out on the chance of winning the Midlands Eastern Group by just one goal in the for and against columns!

The group of players that were chosen to represent Nottinghamshire were a very positive group of individuals who hopefully next year will go on to achieve some good results. Particular praise must go to Adam Colton, George Bacon and Scott Rogers who were at the forefront of most of Nottinghamshire’s good play. Having finished the season undefeated we look forward to meeting up with the squad again in the Autumn and hopefully see some success in the upcoming Under 16 campaign.

League results were as follows:

v Northamptonshire at Collingham FC 1-1

v Derbyshire at Mickleover Sports FC 1-1

v Leicestershire at Bilborough Pelican FC 1-0

Neville Silcock – Under 15 Team Manager

The County Under 15 Squad – Managers – Neville Silcock / Chris Fisher

Sam Spencer Manor Joel Smith Ashfield
Tom Dallison Kirkby Arran Lowder Serlby Park
Andrew Marchant All Saints Ryan Spencer Manor
George Bacon Djanogly Adam Colton Valley
Oliver Lowder Serlby Park Ashley Marsh Ashfield
Joe Palmer Valley Elliott Whitehouse Serlby Park
Richard Fletcher Arnold Hill Scott Rogers Manor
Lukas James Djanogly Peter Stafford Valley
Josh Brentnall Meden

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