Family & Education

Alma powers to national soccer cup success

The London primary won under-11 trophy for best small school


Move over Manchester City - it’s time to hail Alma Primary in Whetstone which last week became the best small footballing school in the country.

Its team clinched the trophy for the ESFA National Cup, which is sponsored by Pokemon, in the finals at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium.

More than 5,000 schools competed during the year for one of three trophies on offer.

With seven other teams contesting the under-11 small team finals, Alma demonstrated its superiority, scoring 14 goals and conceding just one to a penalty.

A combination of top team work and individual sparkle culminated in a 2-0 victory over Lindow Community School of Cheshire.

Alma coach Alex Norman said: “The school supports and understands the value of sport within an educational setting. The team has given so much to so many in terms of improved confidence, camaraderie across the school and has provided opportunities to children that they will never experience again.

“The memories will last forever and seeing the whole school watch the live broadcast of the matches was amazing. There has been a great atmosphere around the school over the last week.”

Having won the Dick Bailey Cup in Barnet two weeks ago, they now stand a chance of the quadruple with the Barnet central cup and league finals upcoming.

Alma head Marc Shoffren added: "Watching the team play in the Pokemon Primary Cup on Wednesday was an astonishing experience. I was so impressed with their individual skill, their teamwork and interactions, but above all with the respect and generosity of spirit that they showed to all their opponents.

“In every single one of their matches, they made at maximum effort to bring the best of themselves to the games. I am incredibly proud of their success, as well as with the achievement of the volunteers who have worked with them. They truly played a beautiful game.”

Yoni Shamash, a member of the team, said,  “Winning the tournament was impressive but what's even more impressive is that we got Mr Shoffren to like football!"

"It was the best way to finish the school year and great to play with my friends at such an amazing stadium.," said Josh Norman.

Goal keeper Levi Kay added, “It was an amazing experience playing at Leicester stadium with my school football team my team are so good that I didn’t have much to do."

Fellow player Oli Cohen said, “The boys have worked extremely hard. It has been so much fun playing for Alma! I still can’t believe what happened and that I scored in the final."

They may not be riding in an open-top bus school down the streets of Barnet but to mark the team's success, the school has arranged a Pokemon day, where pupils can dress in either Pokemon or football clothing.

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