By Marcus Fisher of BSYFC.
Bradley Stoke Youth FC (BSYFC) was again selected from all the FA Charter Standard Clubs in the UK and Ireland to walk around the Wembley pitch, and perform a Guard of Honour, moments before the kick-of of the Community Shield match between Manchester City and Chelsea. This is the fifth time in five years that BSYFC have been selected and once again we were proud to be only 1 of 8 clubs selected for this great experience. BSYFC was represented by squad players and coaches from the U8 Whites.
It was a long day, but an experience the team will never forget. The day started at 8.15am with the coach leaving Bradley Stoke for arrival at Wembley for 11am. We were greeted and hosted by McDonald’s representatives and were based in the Wembley press room for the majority of the day.
At 12.30pm we had our first walk around the Wembley pitch as we performed the rehearsal for the main event, and had our photo taken by the main photographer on the pitch with our BSYFC placard. En route to the pitch, we were able to see behind the scenes of Wembley Stadium, and were fortunate enough to walk past the HOME and AWAY dressing rooms, and to see the famous tunnel leading onto the pitch.
After the rehearsal, it was back to the press room for lunch and a football quiz. This highlighted just how little the managers Marcus Fisher, Simon Newman and Wayne Jukes know about football (and how much the children did know about football!). Interesting fact: Wembley Stadium has 2,618 toilets, more than any other venue in the world. One of children knew this!
We then had our final briefing and it was time for the real thing. We walked past the changing rooms again and into position at the side of the pitch next to the stars of Chelsea and Manchester City, who were completing their warm up. We then came out to 90,000 supporters applauding as we walked around the pitch and performed the guard of honour, with every child waving their flag and the BSYFC placard on full show; a fantastic effort from the children who represented BSYFC incredibly well.
TV cameras were filming us and we could be seen on the TV screens … at last we were famous! We then sang the national anthem, after which we moved off waving our flags while walking proudly behind the BSYFC placard. In total we were on the Wembley pitch for 30 minutes prior to kick-off; what a great experience for the players of BSYFC.
We then rushed back to the press room, picked up our stuff and rushed to our seats to watch the match and to meet the parents. Manchester City dominated the game and won 2-0, which was also a great experience for the children. Then, with the game finished, we boarded the coach back to Bradley Stoke, with the kids remaining energetic and the parents not so (snoozing…) but everyone was very happy after a great day out.
Many thanks to McDonald’s for selecting BSYFC to take part in this event for each of the last five years, and well done to all the BSYFC squad and coaches for being great ambassadors for the club.
Photos: 1 Coaches and players of BSYFC U8 Whites pictured at Wembley Stadium prior to performing their pre-match duties. [View hi-res on Facebook] 2 Some of the BSYFC squad walking around the Wembley pitch before the match.
This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on pages 26 & 27). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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