School teams’ fantastic scores in national competitions



FANTASTIC female footballers from Haslingden High School are celebrating reaching the fifth round in two national competitions.

The U15 team of Years 9 and 10 students and the U14 team of Year 8 and 9 students are through to the final 32 teams in their respective English School’s Football Association Cup competitions after posting some incredible scores.

In the U14s competition there were 382 teams that started and in the U15s 331 teams were competing for the trophy.

Along the way, both sides have put in some brilliant performances, including the U14s winning 16-0 when they faced Clitheroe Grammar and recording an 8-0 victory against St Bede’s from Blackburn.

The U15s team scored eight goals when they won each of their first three matches against Waterhead Academy, Oldham, Archbishop Temple, Preston, and Wright Robinson College, Manchester.

Several of the talented footballers are in Year 9 and so play for both teams, including Ocean Flanagan, Isabella Dunn and Hattie Simpson, all 13.

Ocean is the U14s Captain and Vice-Captain of the U15s team.

Ocean and Hattie both play centre midfield while Isabella is a right back, but is moving up the pitch to be on the wing.

All of the U14s players also play for other teams outside of school and Isabella and Ocean started with Haslingden Girls when they were six.

Isabella said: “I also trained with Burnley, then left and now play for Haslingden Ladies. Football keeps me fit and healthy and I make lots of friends.”

All three agreed they preferred the closer matches, like their fourth-round game against St Benedict’s in Copeland, which they won 2-0.

Hattie said: “This match was a challenge, but we were better as a team. The one where we won 16-0 just became boring. We are feeling confident for our next match against St Christopher’s in Accrington.”

Ocean was asked to play for Manchester City but instead chose Blackburn Rovers because it was closer to home. She stayed for three years but left because there was too much pressure.

She said: “I now play for Padiham Girls and that allows me to do the other sports I am involved with – kickboxing and horse riding.

“They have a few good players at St Christopher’s but we are a more attacking side. We are all excited about this next match because we know a few of the players.”

The match against St Christopher’s will be played before January 8.

The U15s team is Captained by Lily Metcalf and they will be playing either West Lakes Academy, Copeland, or Maricourt Catholic High School from Sefton in Round 5, which will be played before January 15.



Haslingden High School U15 girls football team in the fifth round of the ESFA Cup.

Haslingden High School U14 girls football team in the fifth round of the ESFA Cup.