Arsenal & Barking Year Four Schools Cup tournament a huge success according to Barking FC's Academy Director Mick O'Shea
PUBLISHED: 10:00 05 December 2017
Around 150 children from 15 different Barking & Dagenham Primary Schools took part in enjoyable occasion at Mayesbrook Park
Bostik North club Barking FC have already used their recent player development partnership with Premier League giants Arsenal to good effect by hosting a successful Year Four Schools tournament last Friday.
The Blues Academy Director Mick O’Shea was thrilled to see over a hundred local children turn out at their Mayesbrook Park venue for the inaugural competition.
A total of 15 schools from Barking & Dagenham took part in the event titled the ‘Arsenal & Barking Year Four Schools Cup’ with George Carey running out winners.
Joe Sutton, who is the Gunners pre-academy coordinator, was present at the tournament along with head scout Martin Taylor, while the Blues had assistant manager Andre Thomas involved plus chairman Rob O’Brien.
O’Shea, who was also there on the day, said: “It was great to have Joe Sutton offer a hand with the presentation and the talent ID as well.
“Martin Taylor, who is the head scout at Arsenal, also came to us and presented the cup, which Arsenal had engraved with Arsenal & Barking Year Four Schools Cup, so they donated that and George Carey were the winners out of the 15 schools.
“We had 16 originally, but one dropped out, though we still had 150 pupils over at Mayesbrook Park and Claire (Symonds) the Borough’s school coordinator pulled a lot of it together along with Rob and the PE teachers and support staff and it was a fantastic tournament.”
In addition to George Carey, Rush Green, Southwood, James Campbell, Thomas Arnold, Henry Green, Ripple, Thamesview, Beam, St Joseph Barking, Valence, Roding, Northbury, St Joseph Dagenham and William Bellamy took part in the competition.
Each Year Four six-a-side team played three times with everyone enjoying the occasion and some making making lasting memories.
O’Shea added: “We had four six-a-side pitches on the stadium surface and a format where four were in each group and of course one group only had three, but they all played each other.
“We had them playing for a couple of hours and there was great enthusiasm from all of them. There was a little girl involved who had never played football before in her life as well.
“She said she was really looking forward to it and we saw her after and she loved it. I told her ‘when you are as old as me, make sure you tell everyone you started playing at Barking FC!’ It was brilliant.”
Blues assistant manager Thomas added: “I saw every young footballer enjoy themselves at the Arsenal & Barking Year Four Schools Cup.
“I saw one little girl score a brace, including the winner with a header at the back post, and two boys do their ‘handshake’ after one of them scored.
“Everything I witnessed makes me believe the future is bright at Barking Football Club.”
To secure your place on coaching sessions at Barking FC – providing opportunities to be selected for Arsenal’s pre-academy – contact Academy Director Mick O’Shea on 07762 636015 (places limited).