On Wednesday 17th January, a select group of the Year 7 Boys Football team from Priestnall School (PRS) took part in the regional qualifiers for the 7-a-side Manchester United Emerging Talent competition.

This took place at The Cliff, one of Manchester United’s youth training facilities.

Teams from all over Greater Manchester participate and the winners from each qualifying competition go to the finals in July at Carrington, home of the Manchester United first team.

The Cliffs youth training ground where Priestnall School took part in the regional qualifiers of the Manchester United Academy Emerging Talent competition.

The PRS boys’ first game was a close match against a talented Co-Op Manchester Academy team.

While team PRS dominated possession, the opposition were always dangerous on the break. A well struck shot gave them the lead and despite increasing pressure from PRS, they were unable to get the equaliser.

This didn’t discourage the boys, who moved on to their second match against Cardinal Newman from Preston.

The team relaxed into the game and this time they put on the pressure. Their efforts were rewarded with goals led by striker, Jesse. A wonderful team performance saw PRS win 4-0.

Going into their next game against Mossley Hollins from Tameside, they knew a win was vital to keep them in with a chance of winning.

The Priestnall School Boys team playing a match during the regional qualifiers of the Manchester United Academy Emerging Talent competition.

Against an exceptionally good team, the boys played fantastic football, switching the ball from left to right and applying pressure throughout.

The effort was rewarded when Joseph took a speculative shot from a distance, beating the goalkeeper hands down. In the last seconds of the match, PRS survived a shot off the crossbar and held on for a well-deserved win!

The final round of fixtures saw three teams in with a chance of winning the tournament. Team PRS had to win the game by as many goals as the Co-op Academy team on the adjacent pitch.

Going head-to-head with the current leading team, Parklands from Chorley, the PRS team started with their high press and possession football. The boys controlled the game, but were struggling to get a goal.

Driven by a composed performance from team Captain, Bobby, and a solid defensive display from Harry and Seamus, team PRS kept their cool and took the lead with just five minutes to go.

Unsure of how goal difference would affect the outcome, the boys pushed for another goal and achieved this in the last minute giving them a 2-0 win!

With three teams all finishing on the same number of points, it was an anxious wait while the organisers tallied up the goal difference to crown the overall winner.

There were scenes of jubilation when Priestnall School were announced the winners after scoring the most goals!

The Priestnall School Boys team pose behind a Manchester United banner on the pitch after winning the regional qualifiers of the Manchester United Academy Emerging Talent competition.

The tournament was a wonderful day of football against competitive and challenging opposition.

We look forward to seeing the boys in the finals at Carrington in the Summer Term.

Well done boys, we are proud of you!