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Report: Kids Cup

Over 20,000 children nationwide have taken part in this year's Football League Kids Cup tournament.

Last week Henleaze Juniors represented Bristol City in the Southern Area Finals at Swindon Town’s training ground, for their chance to replicate City’s first team and make it through to a Wembley final.

Twelve teams representing clubs from across mid/southern England battled for the top spot. The young Bristol City team played five games in total and despite not losing a game, failed to make it through to Wembley.

Coach Martyn Dash said: “It has been a fantastic if frustrating day for the boys. Naturally they are disappointed to miss out but on reflection they are proud that they played five of the best teams in the south of England and were still undefeated.

“I would like to thank the Community Trust and Bristol Sport for their support and efforts in giving our children the opportunity and the experience of representing Bristol City Football Club.”

The children had qualified to represent City after winning a tournament run by the Bristol City Community Trust before Christmas.

Presented with their City shirts and trophy, by striker Aaron Wilbraham at Ashton Gate in February, the boys couldn’t wait to represent their home club but were sad to not be able to replicate the top scorer’s form.

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One of the youngsters said: “We were all very excited and proud to represent City and play in the kit. We were nervous and even though we were all disappointed that we couldn’t take our opportunities we all stuck together as a team.”

The youngsters had already overcome adversity when they lost one of their main strikers with a broken arm just a week before the finals. Ironically while climbing over a fence to retrieve…a football!

“It has been a brilliant experience and given us great confidence. It has certainly made us more determined to try and win the English Schools FA Competition now and make Bristol proud,” said another team member.

In the meantime the young team from Henleaze will at least get one trip to Wembley. This weekend their school has arranged a coach to enable the youngsters to support City in their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final and hopefully enjoy a convincing win on Sunday!

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