January 2017: Wembley dream even nearer for girls U13 team

FANTASTIC footballers from Haslingden High School are just a few kicks away from a playing at Wembley.

When the team competed in the third round of the Kinder and Sport English Football League, EFL, Girls Cup at Preston North End, even goalkeeper Millie Thompson scored as the Under 13s team were triumphant.

Goalie Millie, the only Year 7 student in the six-a-side team, said: “I kicked the ball from the goal, it bounced off the back wall, hit their keepers hand and went in. It is the first time I have ever scored.”

Millie, like many of the Haslingden High School team, plays for other clubs outside of school,

Lucy Valentine, 12, plays with Blackburn Rovers U14s and Lancashire U13s; Abby Clarke, 13, plays with Everton U14s and Lancashire U13s; Beth Macdonald, 12, plays for Manchester City, Chloe Deftly and Millie play for Haslingden Girls U13s; Lucy Spence plays for Bridge Girls U13s in Rochdale and Libby Humphreys is also in the school team.

In the North West final the team beat Bolton Wanderers 7-1, Carlisle 7-2 and Morecambe 7-2 and only narrowly lost to Wigan 3-4.

PE teacher Nikki Berko said: “Having won the two previous tournament rounds we were Blackburn Rovers representatives in the North West finals.

“We beat Fleetwood in the semi-finals where the girls showed great determination after going behind twice.

“The girls were fantastic in the final, playing some excellent football and fully-deserved to win beating Wigan 4-2.

“They are really excited to be one stage away from Wembley.”

Lucy said: “The best bit was winning matches by a big margin over some of the other teams – 7-1, 7-2 and 6-1.

“The matches are played for 10 minutes and some games were on straight after the other and so they were pretty tiring.”

Abby added: “I think we have a chance of getting through to Wembley.”

To earn a place in the final at Wembley, the team will take on best footballers from the North of England at Sheffield Wednesday on March 8.

The cup is for U13 girls and culminates in a grand final prior to the EFL Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium in March. Each of the 72 EFL clubs organise a local competition for all schools wishing to take part in their area.