Footballers from Cuddington Croft School in Cheam had a taste of what it is like playing for England in a major tournament recently – when they suffered an agonising semi-final penalty shoot-out defeat.
Following on their success in the 20-team Epsom and Ewell borough tournament before Christmas, both the boys’ and girls’ teams from Cuddington progressed to the Surrey county finals at the end of January, played in Woking, and despite the best efforts of both teams, the step up proved just that bit too big for them to repeat their success.
“They may not have won but both teams did incredibly well and tried so hard,” said coach Craig Miller.
“The boys won all their group games and reached the last four, where they drew 1-1 before losing on penalties,” he added. “As for the girls, they had a really tough group and did well to win two games but they lost the other two, so they didn’t make it any further, but they can certainly be proud of their efforts. They all played really well.”
Cuddington Croft is a member of the GLF Schools group, a Surrey-based multi-academy trust which runs over a dozen schools across the south east, based on a model of strong collaborative working.
“Taking part in a tournament like this isn’t just about playing football, it really is a learning experience in every sense,” said coach Sam Weeks. “Understanding what it means to be part of a team, representing your school and learning to deal with ups and downs are all valuable life skills. They may have been beaten, but they certainly weren’t defeated.”
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