Tameside footballers win North West Schools’ Cup

TAMESIDE Under-13 footballers have relished being underdogs after lifting the North West Schools’ Cup.

The team defeated Knowsley 2-0 in the final which was played at Tranmere Rovers’ training ground.

They had earlier defeated North West Schools’ League winners South Ribble in the semi-finals on penalties after the game ended 1-1.

And in the quarter finals, Tameside overcame Wirral 3-0.

Laurus Ryecroft win Manchester United tournament

It was a great achievement for the boys and for Jamel Haughton, a teacher at Laurus Ryecroft, is his first year managing the team as they became the first team for more than a decade to win the cup.

The last side, which included Arsenal defender Rob Holding, picked up the cup as part of a treble-winning team.

Jamel said: “It is the first year for the team after last year’s event didn’t take place through Covid.

“We are a new team, and it has taken time for it to come together. The cup competition was later in the season, and we beat teams we had previously lost to in the league.

“It is a big achievement as we only have 15 schools to pick our team whereas some of the bigger districts have as many as 40.”

Jamel added other districts had sides littered with players who are at professional clubs’ academies.

However, Tameside had only one, Lucas Clarke, from Laurus Ryecroft, who is in the academy at Manchester City.

Lucas, who captained Tameside, was one of seven players from Laurus Ryecroft in the squad as he was joined by Jobie Smith, Jayden Magee, Jake Jones, Abyaal Shafiq, Noah Lawton and Sonnie Robinson.

Henry Wood, Oliver Loughman and Ace Norton are pupils at Mossley Hollins High School and the remaining players were Pauly Knight and Alex Schofield (St Damian’s), Cameron Shenton (West Hill), Archie Roberts (Audenshaw) and Jack Heslop (St Thomas Moore).

• The day after their victory on the Wirral, the seven Laurus Ryecroft lads helped their school win a regional seven-a-side tournament which was part of Manchester United’s Emerging Talent Programme.

It was a great achievement bearing in mind the tournament for Year 9 students attracted 150 schools.

During a qualifying tournament in March at The Cliff, United’s academy training ground, Laurus Ryecroft won all five games without conceding a goal.

In the regional final at United’s training complex at Carrington, Laurus Ryecroft triumphed after winning four and drawing three of their seven games, scoring nine goals and conceding only one.

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