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Chellaston Academy edge dramatic EFL Girls Cup Final

Chellaston

Chellaston Academy will be representing Derby County Community Trust and Derby County Football Club in this season's Utilita Energy EFL Girls Cup, after narrowly beating Ecclesbourne in the club finals, held at Powerleague.

14 schools went head to head across two qualifying groups, with some excellent football on show from teams made up of pupils from Years 7 and 8.

It was the first time the competition had taken place in two years, with the easing of Covid restrictions allowing schools to come together and participate.

Andy Bromyard, who organised the tournament, said: “I would like to thank all of the participating schools and praise their students for displaying a positive attitude throughout the day which contributed to a really competitive event.

“The sportsmanship from all teams was pleasing to see which is exactly what this competition is all about, making new friends though the power of football!”

Two teams from Chellaston Academy and Ecclesbourne progressed through the group stages as group winners and runners up respectively, with Chellaston A drawing their B team in the semi-final, progressing to the final with a narrow one-nil victory, whilst in the other semi-final it was again one goal that proved the difference, as Ecclesbourne A edged past the B team, who’d netted 53 goals in Group B.

The final itself produced the most drama of the day, as Chellaston Academy B fought back from 2-1 down to tie the game and take it to extra time in the final minute of the match.

Three minutes of extra time passed with the pendulum of chances swinging from one side to the other, before Chellaston netted a winner with only two minutes left on the clock.

Winning team coach, Mr Beverly, PE Teacher at Chellaston Academy, said: “Throughout the group stages we looked comfortable, but the semi-final against our Year 8 girls took a lot of energy out of us which is perhaps why we started the final sluggish. I’m so proud of the efforts and endeavours of the girls to fight back.

“Tournaments like this are a massive part of why I became a PE Teacher. The girls take so much away from it, not just in being able to play competitively, but also gaining confidence, developing their team work and communication skills which is vital, especially for female sport.”

The girls from Chellaston Academy will now go onto represent Derby County at the Regional Finals in early 2022, an opportunity which Mr Beverly believes is a huge opportunity.

“We’re going to go away and graft really hard, it gives them something to focus on now within school because they know they have to earn the opportunity to represent us – these girls love football, they’re really passionate about it, so to have the chance to put on the Derby kit and represent the club and the Trust is a memory they’ll be able to cherish.”

The Utilita Girls Cup comprises of a six-a-side competition for U13 girls that culminates in a grand final prior to the Leasing.com Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium.

The road to the finals begin when each EFL Club organises a local competition for all schools wishing to take part. Over 6,000 participants are engaged across the country.