Southwater JA girls get a real kick from following in heroes footsteps at Leicester City

Southwater JA playing in the Premier League Primary Stars Tournament at Leicester City
Southwater JA playing in the Premier League Primary Stars Tournament at Leicester City

Southwater Junior Academy pupils followed in the footsteps of some of their Premier League footballing heroes last week.

The school’s girls’ team qualified for the national finals of the Primary Stars Tournament which was played at The King Power Stadium, the home of 2016-17 league winners Leicester City.

Southwater JA playing in the Premier League Primary Stars Tournament at Leicester City

Southwater JA playing in the Premier League Primary Stars Tournament at Leicester City

The Worthing Road school qualified as winners of the Albion Cup, after claiming success in both the West Sussex tournament, followed by the Sussex finals in March.

They represented Brighton & Hove Albion, with the club putting on a coach to transfer the girls, parents and two members of staff from school to their hotel in Leicester and back again the following day.

The girls were also given last season’s Premier League Brighton kits to wear on the day.

They started the tournament with a 1-0 win over local favourites Leicester City, with another goal from Siobhan Bridgewater.

After this, the girls went on to lose their next three games against Newcastle United, Bournemouth and Chelsea.

Bridgewater ended the tournament with three goals, taking her tally up to the season to well over 40, in her first year of playing football.

The achievement is even more remarkable in that it is the second national final for the school in under a year, with the boys playing at Stoke City the previous season.

Southwater JA PE teacher Paul Showell said: “The girls were lucky enough to have an opportunity to view the Premier League trophy and have a tour of the home team’s dressing room, to top off a fantastic experience for them all.

“The girls were supposed to be in the Isle Of Wight for the week on their Year 6 residential trip after their SATS, but chose to miss that and do the football, which was a massive and really tough decision for them to make.”

Team: Charlotte Doyle, Ellie Chapman, Megan Hulcoop, Anya Cox, Maddie Wilders, Georgia Clark, Bridgewater, Jenny Cockerill.