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English Schools' FA finals at the Ricoh Arena

U16 IC winners
The English Schools’ Football Association (EFSA) will hold its under-16 and under-18 National Cup finals at the Ricoh Arena next month. Eight matches featuring schools from across the country will be staged over three days on Thursday, March 13, Friday, March 14 and Saturday, March 15 in the stadium bowl.

The boys’ under-18 Schools Trophy will kick-off the football extravaganza when Barking Abbey School or Colne School in Lancashire will face Thomas Telford School or Carre’s Grammar School in Sleaford at 10.30am.

Next up is the girls’ under-16 Schools Cup featuring West Yorkshire’s Heckmondwike Grammar School against Queens’ School in Watford or the John Madejski Academy from Reading at 1.45pm.

Thursday’s games are competed between the Balby Carr School in Doncaster and the John Madejski Academy in the girls’ under-18 Schools Trophy at 5pm.

There is Midlands interest on March 14 when Solihull College face Accrington & Rossendale College in the 10.30am kick-off in the girls’ under-18s Colleges’ Trophy.

Wigan’s St John Rigby College will compete against Sparsholt College in Eastleigh or Stanmore College in Harrow to lift the under-18s Colleges’ Trophy when they get underway at 1.45pm.

The final day of the competition sees Essex or Kent line-up against either Staffordshire, Greater Manchester, defending champions Lancashire or Nottinghamshire in the 10.30am start in the under-16 Inter County Trophy.

Lancashire Schools or Merseyside Schools will be aiming to overcome Greater Manchester Schools or Durham Schools in the under-16 Inter County Trophy (1.45pm).

And finally, Kent Schools or Essex Schools (5pm kick-off) will win the under-18 Inter County Trophy to complete the three days of finals action at the Ricoh Arena.

Darren Alcock, national competitions manager at the ESFA, said the EFSA was delighted to be returning to the Ricoh Arena to host its national finals.

“The facility is first class and will help raise the profile of the ESFA and at the same time will create a memory of a lifetime for the young boys and girls that experience this fantastic arena,” he said.

“Thousands of schools, colleges and county representative teams started in these competitions in September.

“We are looking forward to the culmination of our cup competitions in what should prove a thrilling three days, showcasing the best school football talent in England.”

Caroline Lissaman, head of planning at the Ricoh Arena, said the Lloydspharmacy stand would be opened for spectators for each final.

She said: “The National Cup finals are the culmination of months of competitions involving schools, colleges and counties throughout England.

“Poor weather has meant some of the ties have been delayed but once the finalists are confirmed, I am sure the games will be extremely competitive and close affairs.

“The Ricoh Arena is a fantastic venue and I am sure the young footballers will take away positive memories of playing in such a great stadium.

“Everyone is welcome to come along to support the teams and admission is through the main atrium to enter the Lloydspharmacy stand.”

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