Coach Emma Burden believes the progress of the Essex County Schools FA’s Under 16s and 14s Girls Teams in the National Cups reflects the strength of local female football.
Both squads have reached the last eight of the English Schools FA Inter-County Trophy to continue the fine pedigree Essex have in nationwide competitions. The Under 16s have been Inter-County Championship winners in 2013 and runners-up in 2014, 2015 and 2018, while the Under 14s won in 2012 and were finalists in 2015 and 2016.
“The players who’ve taken part so far this season have done really well and it’s tough making selections,” Emma explained. “We’re grateful to all the school teachers who support the programme, juggling a busy schedule of teaching and fixtures to fit in the coaching of both teams.”
“We run these squads to give girls the opportunity to play within a regional league programme and a national cup competition. The Under 15s also get a chance to trial to be a part of the England Under 15s Schools Girls Team. There are numerous opportunities for boys to play for their district or county teams, whilst the girls’ side of things continue to grow.”
“We have an expanding pool of players who can all play at this level. The challenge for the coaches is to identify the players who can compete on the national stage, should we be fortunate enough to reach a final again in the National Cups. The girls should all be very proud.”
The trials in Chelmsford in September were well-attended, with a combination of over 150 Regional Talent Club, Player Development Centre and grassroots players taking part across both age groups. The Management Teams were looking for players who were technically able, physically competent and well-rounded individuals who would represent their school in the correct manner.
On Saturday 12th January, the Under 14s Girls host Sussex (11:30am kick-off at Aveley FC), while the Under 16s Girls travel to Kent (10:15am at Sporting Club Thamesmead FC) in the English Schools FA Inter-County Trophy Quarter-Finals. Competition details can be found on the English Schools FA website.
Under 16s: Ella Skidmore (Coopers' Company and Coborn), Abbie Jackson (Fitzwimarc), Freya Fuller (Billericay), Hannah Humm (Notley High), Lauren Baker (Manningtree High), Emilia Parsons (Bancroft's), Robyn Moody (Gaynes), Keanne Jervier (Brentwood Ursuline), Millie Stacey (Brentwood), Rebecca Alderton (Tabor Academy), Charis Howell (Passmores Academy), Haneeka Thandi (Westcliff High), Maya Croft (Plume Academy), Lily Sokhi (Sandon), Lauren Hart (Gable Hall), Mya Turner (Emerson Park Academy).
Under 14s: Alicia Garwood (Deanes Academy), Megan Wearing (Chingford Foundation), Kelsey Morgan (Appleton), Leonie Telford (Philip Morant), Chloe Brand (Coopers' Company and Coborn), Katie McClean (Davenant Foundation), Lucy Ogden (Southend High), Leonnie Bezant (Thurstable), Jessica Wright (Sacred Heart of Mary), Carlie Dinham (Woodlands), Mia Filipiak (Coopers' Company and Coborn), Ruby Sealey (Philip Morant), Isabella Darby (Belfairs Academy), Amy Taylor (Thurstable), Elle Moore (Shenfield), Ruby Barnes (Hall Mead).