By Matteo Bianchi, team manager and head coach.
Bradley Stoke Youth FC’s (BSYFC’s) Under-10 Blues team has just started the new season with training sessions and competitive matches as part of the Hanham Minor League Division B group.
In August 2019, the team was lucky enough to be one of eight teams selected to participate in the pre-match on-pitch parade at the FA Community Shield, representing McDonald’s grassroots football sponsorship.
An excited party of boys, parents and siblings met at Baileys Court early in the morning, departing for Wembley Stadium promptly at 7.45am. After an uninterrupted journey, we finally saw the twin towers come into view and arrived in good time, allowing the opportunity for a team photo-shoot in front of the famous statue of the 1966 World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore.
The 17 lucky boys wearing team kit who had been selected to join the parade then met with FA staff, picked up their VIP wristbands and entered the stadium. Once inside, the boys received an official briefing, had photos taken pitch-side and practised walking in formation ready for the parade.
The accompanying parents had time for coffee and window shopping prior to the turnstiles opening at 1pm, whereupon we took our seats ready to see the action. Following the players’ warm-up session, two community choirs from Liverpool and Manchester City sang rousing versions of You’ll Never Walk Alone and Blue Moon respectively, and as these songs rang out the boys paraded into the stadium waving their flags, our boys and coaches leading the parade out at the Manchester City end of the pitch.
Pre-match ceremonies complete, the boys paraded off and then made the journey up into the upper tier of the stadium to join their families and enjoy the game.
An excellent and tightly fought match followed which finished 1-1 at full time. The game went straight to a penalty shoot-out which was a tense affair at the Liverpool end of the pitch, Manchester City winning 5-4 after Liverpool’s third penalty was saved. Liverpool fans streamed out of the stadium leaving the Manchester City fans to enjoy the trophy ceremony.
For the BSYFC U10 Blues team, this had been a fantastic day out and some brilliant memories made.
BSYFC is an FA Charter Standard Community Club with our primary focus being that football is accessible to children of all levels. In order to better support the team improving the standard of training and material, we are seeking new opportunities for sponsorship to help fund some of the everyday costs that the club faces such as pitch fees, the cost of new kits and renewal of training equipment.
If anyone is interested in joining the team or wants more information, please contact Matteo Bianchi (team manager and head coach) on 07966 762234, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the team’s webpage at www.bsyfc.co.uk/teams/134076
Photos – Top: Seated in the upper tier of Wembley Stadium. Above: On a pre-match tour, in front of the Bobby Moore Sculpture.
This article originally appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on pages 34 & 35). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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