Primary schools from across Doncaster and the surrounding areas were competing for the chance to represent Doncaster Rovers in this year’s regional finals of the EFL Utilita Kids Cup.
144 children were in attendance on Wednesday afternoon for the annual local Kids Cup tournament at the Eco-Power Stadium.
All 18 teams battled it out through the group stages, to gain a spot in the Kids Cup final, which will take place on the main Eco-Power Stadium pitch, prior to the Doncaster Rovers first team game v Tranmere Rovers.
Alongside the fixtures, teams were treated to a special guest in attendance. Kyle Hurst, a winger for Doncaster Rovers, came along to witness some of the tournament take place, while also taking the time to speak to children from different schools about his own football journey and answer questions about life as a professional footballer.
Speaking of seeing the tournament in action, Hurst said, “It’s been great to come down here today and witness lots of football taking place. These are the types of tournaments I used to take part in when I was younger, which contributed to my progression into professional football.
“I’ve been able to discuss my career and hear about the aspirations of the young children in attendance, while offering tips and advice, I’ve really enjoyed it.”
One school in attendance, Howden Juniors, made it all the way to the semi-finals before bowing out to Warmsworth. They were supported on the day by headteacher, Lee Hill.
He spoke about his team’s efforts throughout the tournament, “As always, The Foundation go above and beyond to make the Kids Cup a success for all the children in attendance.
“Personally, it’s great to watch our children express themselves on the pitch and build on the work the coaches do in schools.”
Harriet, a participant in attendance, was pleased with her efforts from the day, “It was great to represent my school today, and to get even further than what we did last year. 7 goals in a tournament is my best so far!
“It was a great tournament, even though it was cold!”
After the conclusion of the group stages, quarter-finals and semi-finals, both Copley Junior and Warmsworth Primary saw off strong competition to book their place in the final, taking place on Saturday, January 21st.
Sport Development Officer, Nic Moran said, “It was fantastic to see so many schools turning out today. The competition was so close and the level of football on display was impressive.
“We are proud to offer opportunities for all school children to compete in competitive football and we are looking forward to holding the final before the Tranmere game.”