Cheam’s U11 A team footballers headed to the Independent Schools Football Association (ISFA) Regional 7-a-side tournament on Thursday afternoon, and enjoyed a truly spectacular day of football.
The nature of the tournament is very frenetic, with only two, 6 minute halves for each game, meaning that the boys had to be switched on from the first whistle right through to the last in order to maximise their chances of qualification. In the group stages, Cheam remained unbeaten, winning all four matches against Papplewick, Bishopsgate, Crown House and Bruern Abbey, playing some magical football at times, linking well in both attack and defence, and scoring some superb individual and team goals.
Excellent play the in group stages meant Cheam qualified top of their group, where they met St Piran’s in the quarter finals, winning a tight game 3-1, aided by some last ditch defending in the final moments of the game. In the semi-final, a rematch against Papplewick needed nerves of steel, as a place in the final was at stake, but calm heads and sheer hard work saw Cheam run out 2-0 winners and progress into the final against Elstree. After going a goal down, the boys battled really hard to gain the equaliser, only for moments later to concede a wonder strike into the top right corner. Sadly there was no time to get back into the game, meaning Cheam lost 1-2.
The really exciting news as a result of the afternoon’s matches is that Cheam qualify for the National Finals to be held at St. George’ Park, the home of the FA and England’s training base in May 2024. Well done to all involved; the boys did a sterling job in representing the school so well on and off the pitch. To our parental support, too, a huge thank you. Roll on May!