Melbourn Village College ready for Hastings battle in quarter-finals of national cup

Melbourn Village College's U11 football team have reached the quarter-finals of a national tournament.

Melbourn Village College's U11 football team have reached the quarter-finals of a national tournament. - Credit: MELBOURN VILLAGE COLLEGE

Melbourn Village College have reached the quarter-finals of a national schools’ football competition.

The Year 11 team have been drawn away to Buckswood School, from Sussex, in the last eight of the English Schools Football Association (ESFA) Small Schools Trophy and will travel to the independent school, based near Hastings, on February 7.

This is the furthest the college has gone in a national competition for many years and PE teacher Richard Barlow is delighted the team are enjoying success after their previous cup run was curtailed by the pandemic.

They reached the last eight with a hard-fought 5-4 victory in Hemel Hempstead, repeatedly coming from behind to snatch victory against Laureate Academy.

That was in part due to Henry’s five-goal haul but also some incredible defending led by man-of-the-match Levi.

In previous rounds they saw off King James Academy 5-0, The Stephen Perse Foundation (Cambridge) 3-1 and Debenham High School (Suffolk) 7-2.

Melbourn have been making the most of training on their new full-size artificial pitch, which opened just last term.

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Mr Barlow said: "Many of the boys represent local football teams at the weekend and have developed their skills in a range of football competitions and in a range of positions.

"I have asked them to adapt to different positions and systems for their school team and they have done well, this cup run has had a profound effect both on and off the pitch.

“This team were previously one round away from the local District Cup final in Year 10, however, the competition was curtailed due to the pandemic.

"The pupils were obviously disappointed as they had beaten large Cambridge schools such as Chesterton and Cottenham in that and had they won their semi-final the final would have been at Cambridge United’s stadium and many of the boys are fans.

“This therefore goes some way to making up for that.  Who knows how far we will go but we have certainly put Melbourn Village College on the map."